With the ever-increasing volume of real-time data and pressure to deliver that data faster, exchanges have continued to develop a new and diverse range of protocols. With each new protocol comes the need for software vendors and investment banks to develop and maintain new feed handlers, and with that, increasing cost.
Compound the issue with the spectre of the Intellectual Property Right challenges that have become infamous in the retail technology space between the likes of Google, Apple and Samsung, and the situation does not improve. Fix Adapted for STreaming (FAST), the first successful attempt at an industry-wide market data protocol, has been dealt a blow by a patent infringement case. A number of major market participants will be taken to court later this year by Realtime Data, who have claimed that an aspect of the protocol, already used by a number of key trading venues, software vendors and banks, has breached their patent.
While there is some debate about whether Realtime will be able to defend its patent, a growing number of exchanges have already laid out plans to stop using FAST, moving to different protocols or reverting to older protocols requiring more bandwidth, both adding further cost and complexity to the industry.
What is the best approach for launching a new protocol and bring back the cost benefits of working to open standards?