Interactive Brokers produces additional source code in case brought by customer
A lawsuit accusing Interactive Brokers of negligent design of its trading software continues at the Connecticut District Court. In fact, some progress appears to have been marked over the past couple of months with regards to discovery in this case, as indicated by the latest Court filings.
On March 8, 2021, the parties in this case submitted a joint motion for extension of time. The reason for that is that Interactive Brokers has produced additional information and the plaintiff needs time to review it.
Let’s recall that the plaintiff in this lawsuit is Robert Scott Batchelar, a former customer of the broker. He has brought a claim against Interactive Brokers, LLC alleging that its trading software was negligently designed, and the result was an automatic liquidation of the positions in his account that cost him thousands of dollars more than it should have.
He has also sued Interactive’s parent company, Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (IBG), under a theory of respondeat superior, and Thomas A. Frank, an officer of IBG, claiming he was personally responsible.
As per the document filed with the Court on Monday, March 8, 2021, the result of the meet and confer of the parties was the production of substantial additional Source Code. This information has been sought for quite some time by the plaintiff. Now, Batchelar needs time to review and consider the additional Source Code that is being produced this week.
The parties jointly move to modify the Scheduling Order to extend the deadlines contained therein by an additional 11 weeks. This period of time is set to give Batchelar enough time to review the material.
The source code has been at the heart of a discovery dispute pending since at least August 2020. Batchelar said that IB was withholding Source Code from three of the six modules.
Let’s also recall that in May 2019, Albert Lukazik, a Software Engineering Department Head, Senior Technology Manager, and Information Security Officer for Interactive Brokers LLC and Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., filed a Declaration in support of defendants’ objection to produce source code materials.
In his Declaration, Lukazik stressed that the source code is one of Interactive’s foundational assets and incorporates its trade secrets and know-how accumulated over a period of more than 20 years. The source code includes some 600,000 lines of code and refers to various subsystems within Interactive’s trading system. If access to Interactive’s source code were made public, the brokerage’s competitors would potentially be able to replicate aspects of Interactive’s margin liquidation system, Mr Lukazik noted back then.