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S&P Stings Spyder Options Backers

Parent McGraw-Hill sues for a restraining order and vows to enforce its contract.
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The Spyder stung back Thursday evening.



sued Thursday to keep two financial firms from listing options on its widely traded S&P Depositary Receipts


, popularly known as SPDRs, or Spyders.

McGraw-Hill said the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks a temporary restraining order against the International Securities Exchange and Options Clearing Corp. Those two have sought to create an options market in the Spyders without first striking a licensing agreement with McGraw-Hill's S&P unit, the company says.

reported Wednesday night that ISE and OCC were

seeking to create the Spyder options without first reaching a deal with S&P. Such a product would likely become one of the most popular and actively traded options contracts and would fill a longstanding void in the options market.

The ISE and other exchanges have been petitioning the

Securites and Exchange Commission

for years to gain the right to trade SPY options, on the grounds that the Chicago Board of Options Exchange's exclusive licensing agreement with McGraw-Hill was anticompetitive and not consistent with the trend toward multiple market listings and linkage between exchanges. The CBOE and S&P have countered that they possessed a perfectly legal contract based on intellectual property rights.

"Standard & Poor's has not licensed ISE -- and ISE has no other right -- to use Standard & Poor's proprietary index nor Standard & Poor's marks in connection with any such product," S&P contends in its suit. "McGraw-Hill will plainly suffer irreparable injury if ISE or another exchange is permitted to begin listing and trading SPDR Options without a license. The complaint notes that Standard & Poor's currently has more than 450 license agreements for the use of its index-related intellectual property."