More than a year ago, in what would become a bitter trademark battle, McGraw-Hill Cos. sued the Vanguard Group over the use of the Standard and Poor's trademark.

The suit stemmed from Vanguard's plans to offer an exchange-traded-fund-like share class, known as Viper shares, that would be linked to its S&P's 500 Index fund. The case essentially amounted to a debate over whether the Viper share class fell under the licensing agreement Vanguard struck for its mutual funds with McGraw-Hill, S&P's parent company.

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