U.S. District Court Judge Matthew F. Leitman for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled against Ford Motor Corp last week after three years of litigation. The judge ruled that Ford was wrong in claiming it owned valuable software supplied by Versata. The Judge ruled that Versata’s software – it provides sales lead and gauges market demand – was legally protected and that a jury could find Ford stole the protected trade secrets and Ford could be held liable for doing so.
Versata declared publicly that the jury verdict could result in hundreds of millions of dollars of damages to Ford and could result in an injunction from using the “copycat” substitute software Ford secretly created behind closed doors that infringes on Versata’s property rights.
Such an injunction also could cause a major hit to Ford’s business and profits it claimed. Versata questioned whether the court’s decision needed to be disclosed to shareholders and the public through SEC filings, which thus far are non-existent.
“This is a great victory for Versata,” a spokesperson claimed. “We appreciate the court’s rejection of Ford’s false claims, after all these years of accusations that Versata didn’t legally own the protected trade secrets.” We look forward to a trial early next year so that jury can decide whether Ford illegally copied our trade secrets and codes. If so, Ford could be barred from using those stolen trade secrets and software, possibly resulting in an injunction against further use.”
The privately held company was formerly known as Trilogy Software, Inc. Versata Software, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Versata Software, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Versata Enterprises, Inc, according to Bloomberg.