Key Facts

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    In December 2004, Ford and Versata entered into a license agreement, whereby Ford agreed to pay Versata for use of its technology.
  • Versata’s technology required more than ten years, tens of millions of dollars, and thousands of man hours to originally develop. Ford took advantage of this and stole this technology for its own use.
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    Ford’s saved at least $1 Billion dollars by using Versata ACM technology to reduce recall and warranty expense, to accelerate product development and to streamline the ordering process.
  • Beginning in 2010, Ford began and implemented a scheme to steal Versata’s patented technology and did so secretly and deceitfully. Ford secretly began an internal project to replace Versata’s technology with their own, and had Ford employees with detailed knowledge of Versata’s trade secrets assigned to the new “copy-cat” project.
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    Ford explicitly promised that there would be a “Chinese Wall” in place to protect Versata’s trade secrets, when in fact Versata has identified at least 14 individuals at Ford who worked on both projects. The “wall” was supposed to separate employees who worked with Versata’s software from employees who were working on Ford’s new software.
  • Ford committed fraud by applying for a patent in 2011 without disclosing that its proposed “new” invention was in fact derived, in whole or in part, from copied Versata trade secrets and patented software. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office granted Ford its patent covering what Ford described in its complaint as its “invention.”
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    On October 7, 2014, Versata notified Ford that it would not be renewing the license agreement. Ford deceptively tried to extend its contract with Versata anyway, by sending a check for $8.45 million to Versata’s accounting department in the hopes that they would deposit the check by accident.
  • Ford was required under the license agreement to stop using, and return or destroy, Versata’s software and confidential information upon termination of its contract with Versata.
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    Versata also had the right to visit Ford’s facilities and verify compliance of its technology upon termination of the contract. Ford refused to allow Versata to do this.
  • On February 19, 2015 Ford filed a declaratory judgment action and did not serve Versata until MAY, when Versata filed its own suit in Texas. Ford’s filing was an abuse of the federal court system because they filed a “sealed” complaint, which was directly contrary to the court’s rules.
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