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IKOS dispute settled at UK High Court

Elena Ambrosiadou

THE DISPUTE over the software systems of the IKOS hedge fund was settled at UK High Court at the end of July, with Mrs Justice Asplin deciding that Dr Martin Coward had no right to retain or use the company’s quantitative software when he covertly downloaded it for his own purposes in November 2009.

Coward has been in dispute with his estranged wife, the CEO of IKOS Elena Ambrosiadou – they are in the process of divorcing – over the ownership of the software of the hedge fund which they ran.

In a substantive judgment delivered on May 17, 2013, Justice Asplin had dismissed Coward’s claim and ruled that the IKOS owned all of the intellectual property rights vested in the disputed parts of its quantitative trading software.

After a two-day High Court hearing on July 30 and 31, Justice Asplin refused Coward’s application for permission to appeal the substantive findings in her judgment as having no reasonable prospect of success.

She ordered Coward to meet 85 per cent of the legal costs incurred by IKOS in the proceedings and also rejected an appeal on the terms of the costs order. The costs he would have to pay, according to the Daily Telegraph, are £3 million.

Coward is required to return or destroy any copies of the whole or any part of IKOS’ quantitative trading software that he still has in his possession, custody or control; and was also required to undertake to the Court that he would “not use, consult, disclose, copy, communicate or publish any or any substantial part of it,” neither would he commit these acts “… through others acting on his behalf or on his instructions or with his encouragement.

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