MicroSoft have patented the prediction markets.

Well, at least, one aspect of the prediction markets.

Uniited States Patent Application:



A user participates in trading securities in a prediction market which represent different outcomes of an event, using an interface which allows the user to understand a trade in terms of a bet. The interface also allows the user to explore different bet amounts while receiving feedback on potential payoffs in real time. In one approach, a tool is used which is moved in one direction by the user to indicate a larger trade for an outcome, or in the opposite direction to indicate a larger trade against the outcome. A bet for an outcome can be translated into a purchase of a corresponding security which represents the outcome. A bet against a particular outcome can be translated into a purchase of securities which represents all other outcomes. The user interfaces hides complexities of the market from the user while surfacing relevant information.

Inventors: BERG- HENRY G.- (Redmond, WA) – PROEBSTING- TODD A.- (Redmond, WA)

I won&#8217-t comment on this, because I believe that the US patent system is broken, generally speaking.

Lights! Camera! Futures trading! Cantor Exchange!

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Investment News:

&#8220-Technically, you can trade anything, because wherever there is a financial interest, there can be a market,&#8221- said Andre Julian, chief financial officer of Option Investments Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based independent broker for futures and options traders.

&#8220-People love stats, and movies are something people understand, which is why it could bring some regular people into the futures markets for the first time,&#8221- he said. &#8220-Of course, it might be more difficult if it was launched in the middle of a bull market, when there would be no reason to look beyond stocks.&#8221-

With a $50 trading minimum, the movie futures exchange clearly is hoping to attract a segment of retail-class investors and movie junkies, but once developed, the exchange could also become a vehicle to allow movie moguls to hedge their investments.

&#8220-If it costs a studio $200 million to make a movie, that studio could use this exchange to protect its investment by going short the same amount, and then if they&#8217-re losing money on the open market, they could make it back on the short side,&#8221- Mr. Julian said. &#8220-It all comes down to money, and there&#8217-s always somebody on the opposite side willing to make a trade.&#8221-

Cantor Exchange

Best wishes to Richard Jaycobs.