CHICAGO – Attorneys from the intellectual property and business litigation firm Caldwell Cassady & Curry have filed a federal trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against Marex Capital Markets Inc. on behalf of financial technology leader RVassets Ltd. of London, England.
The lawsuit filed on September 27, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleges Marex Capital Markets and two of the company’s employees improperly used their access to RVassets’ industry-leading cloud-based platform for algorithmic pricing and execution of listed options in order to covertly create and launch a competing software platform called OptionsLive.
RVassets has requested a jury trial on the claims against Marex for trade secret misappropriation under the Illinois Trade Secrets Act and the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, tortious interference, fraud, fraudulent concealment, and unjust enrichment. In addition to damages for RVassets’ losses and Marex’s unjust enrichment, RVassets is seeking punitive damages and attorneys’ fees in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit details how RVassets was formed in 2014 by a group led by Founder and CEO Thomas Fitch, a financial industry veteran with prior banking and commercial trading roles for Dresdner Bank, BNP Paribas, and JP Morgan. RVassets developed a software platform built on Mr. Fitch’s proprietary algorithms for pricing and executing listed options, such as U.S. treasury options traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. At the time, there was no other commercially available software offering such functionality.
RVassets licensed the use of its software under strict terms prohibiting unauthorized use and reverse engineering. While a customer of RVassets’ proprietary software, New York’s ED&F Man Capital Markets Inc. (now Marex Capital Markets Inc.) hired David Hoffman and Jason Margiotta to improperly access and replicate RVassets’ listed options trading software platform. ED&F Man launched its competing OptionsLive platform in late 2020 before the company was later acquired by Marex, which continues to offer the same software.
“We take trade secret protection seriously and are fully committed to pursuing all available legal remedies to ensure that Marex is held accountable for its textbook misappropriation,” says Mr. Cassady. “Our objective is clear: to protect our client’s valuable intellectual property. We look forward to presenting our case in court.”
The case is RVassets Ltd. v. Marex Capital Markets Inc., et al., No.1:23-cv-14192.