“‘Hot News’ for Financial Index Issuers: Southern District Decision in The Associated Press v. All Headline News Corp.”

In a decision with important potential implications for the protection of intellectual property rights in financial indexes, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a ruling on February 17, 2009 in The Associated Press v. All Headline News Corp., confirming the viability of quasi property rights based on the so-called “hot news” doctrine and rejecting the argument that Federal copyright law preempts common law claims for misappropriation.  This Stroock Special Bulletin looks at the implications of the Associated Press decision, which although involving the Associated Press’ rights in breaking news reports, extend to the right of an issuer of a financial index to prevent third parties from copying or creating products based on the indexes without a license.