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Board of Trade of City of Chicago
v. Dow Jones & Co.,
98 Ill.2d 102, 456 N.E.2d 84 (1983)
- The Board of Trade, the plaintiff, sought to obtain a declaratory order protecting its introduction of a futures market for stock indexes which was based on Dow Jones'
- The Securities Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission had recently agreed that the CFTC would regulate futures markets for stock indexes and that only widely-known and well-established indexes could be used.
- The trial court had placed the burden of proof on the defendant as to the existence of any protectible interest in its commercial identity. The appeals court reversed this finding.
- The defendant, Dow Jones, argued that
allowing the Board of Trade to use its and other parties'
indexes would eliminate the incentive to produce such indexes,
as it would be equivalent to granting a de facto license for others' use, without regard to the producers' wishes.
- Dow Jones also alleged that the plaintiff would be allowed to commercially exploit Dow Jones' goodwill and reputation if the plaintiff, without the permission of the defendant, were allowed to found a futures market on the fruits of Dow Jones' labors.
- The plaintiff argued that
the defendant had not foreseen this market for its indexes and, therefore, was not entitled to protection in it. That is, the defendant could not have sustained competitive injury in a market in which it never sought to participate.
- This was not an important factor
in the state supreme court's decision. Direct competition was held not to be a requirement for recovery.
- The plaintiff also argued that protecting the defendant's goodwill in this instance effectively gave it a monopoly on stock indexes.
- The supreme court felt that the plaintiff was entirely free to develop its own competing indexes, even with an order in place that protected the commercial identity of the defendant.
- The court decided to affirm the judgment of the appeals court granting the defendant protection in the form of an injunction prohibiting the plaintiff's unauthorized use of the defendant's name
and, thereby, its goodwill.
- This unauthorized use of another party's commercial identity is the essence of "misappropriation" as a form of unfair competition.
- Direct competition of goods or services need not be involved.
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