NASDAQ Private Market is Spinning Out, But What Does That Mean For Its IP

NASDAQ Private Market (formerly known as SecondMarket Solutions), a software company focused on providing liquidity for private equity investments, was fully acquired by NASDAQ in 2015. After only fully owning the company for six years, NASDAQ has already decided to spin it out. On the one hand, this move may be to encourage banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to inject capital to grow the platform. However, another possibility is that NASDAQ is uncertain what to do with the platform, especially with platforms like Equity Shift and CartaX soon coming to take the space.

After acquiring NASDAQ Private Market, NASDAQ began a collaboration with nChain to leverage blockchain solutions in assisting its private equity platform. The patent support for the platform is therefore divided between different assignees, which could weaken its ability to gain a foothold in the market, especially if nChain breaks from the agreement. Furthermore, NASDAQ has patents related to blockchain technology for logging security transactions, but has few patents focusing on smart contracts used to implement the sort of advanced transactions that would be implemented on a platform like Equity Shift. If the newly spun out NASDAQ Private Market is going to thrive, it’s going to need more than just a cash infusion from banks, but a strong IP portfolio.

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