|IHS MARKIT LTD. filed this Form 10-K on 01/18/2019|
uses of our intellectual property, we might be required to engage in costly and time-consuming litigation or other proceedings and we may not ultimately prevail. Any failure to establish, maintain or protect our intellectual property or proprietary rights could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We may be exposed to litigation related to products we make available to customers and we may face legal liability or damage to our reputation.
Companies in our industry have increasingly pursued patent and other intellectual property protection for their data, technologies and business methods. As we do not actively monitor third-party intellectual property, if any of our data, technologies or business methods are covered or become covered by third-party intellectual property protection and used without license or if we misuse data, technologies or business methods outside the terms of our licenses, we may be subject to claims or threats of infringement, misappropriation or other violation of intellectual property rights, or have the use of our data, technologies and business methods otherwise challenged. We have also in the past been, and may in the future be, called upon to defend partners, customers, suppliers or distributors against such third-party claims under indemnification clauses in our agreements.
Responding to such claims or threats, regardless of merit, can consume valuable time and resources, result in costly or unfavorable litigation or settlements that could exceed the limits of applicable insurance coverage, delay operations of our business, require redesign of our products and services, or require new royalty and licensing agreements. It could also damage our reputation for any reason which could adversely affect our ability to attract and retain customers, employees, and information suppliers. Any such factors could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
We are subject to litigation and investigation risks which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We are from time to time involved in various litigation matters and claims, including regulatory proceedings, administrative proceedings, lawsuits, governmental investigations, and contract disputes, as they relate to our products, services, and business. We may face potential commercial or intellectual property claims or liability for, among other things, breach of contract, defamation, libel, fraud, or negligence, with respect to the use of our offerings by our customers, particularly if the information in our offerings was incorrect for any reason, or if it were misused or used inappropriately. We may also face employment-related litigation and investigations, including claims of age discrimination, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, immigration violations, or other local, state, and federal labor, environmental, health, and safety violations. In addition, we may receive routine requests for information from governmental agencies in connection with their regulatory or investigatory authority. Because of the uncertain nature of litigation, investigations, and insurance coverage decisions, we cannot predict the outcome of these matters, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Litigation and investigations are very costly, and the costs associated with prosecuting and defending litigation and investigation matters could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. In light of the potential cost and uncertainty involved in litigation and investigations, we may settle matters even when we believe we have a meritorious defense. We are unable to estimate precisely the ultimate dollar amount of exposure to loss or the amounts we actually pay in connection with litigation and investigation matters, due to inherent uncertainties and the inherent shortcomings of the estimation process, the uncertainties involved in litigation, and other factors.
Our use of open source software could result in litigation or impose unanticipated restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products and services.
We use open source software in our technology, most often as small components within a larger product or service. Open source code is also contained in some third-party software we rely on. The terms of many open source licenses are ambiguous and have not been interpreted by U.S. or other courts, and these licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products and services, license the software on unfavorable terms, require us to re-engineer our products and services or take other remedial actions, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business. We could also be subject to suits by parties claiming breach of the terms of licenses, which could be costly for us to defend.
Our brand and reputation are key assets and competitive advantages of our company and our business may be affected by how we are perceived in the marketplace.
The integrity and external perceptions of our brand and reputation are key to our ability to remain a trusted source of products and services and to attract and retain customers. Reputational damage from negative perceptions or publicity, or