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Cusip License Fee Battle Rages On

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The batting to and fro between the International Standards Organization (ISO), the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) and the Cusip Service Bureau operated by McGraw-Hill’s Standard & Poor’s Corp. continues unabated. The latest barrage comes from ANNA members, who collectively condemned charging for ISIN-based securities identification databases, in what appears to be another thinly veiled attack on the CSB. The London-based Information Providers User Group (IPUG) also put its oar in with a letter to the S.E.C., urging that fees based on any claims of intellectual property by national numbering agencies be waived. Of course, all this is well and good. But if Standard & Poor’s hadn’t asserted its intellectual property rights, acquired through 30 years of commitment – for questionable return, particularly early on – to the concept of standards-based identifiers, we wonder whether there would be any Cusip numbers about which to argue over licensing fees.

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