“This is classic Ford behavior: They steal, accuse, and then when they are caught, they try to cover up,” said Versata attorney Lanny J. Davis.

“Versata is seeking a court order stopping Ford from using Versata’s stolen software that they heavily rely on for manufacturing,” Davis said. “Their public shareholders are eventually going to ask: Why didn’t you tell us about all this?”

DETROIT, June 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Versata Software, Inc. (“Versata”) has called out Ford Motor Company for trying to block its own lawsuit after Ford realized it had gotten caught stealing and pirating Versata’s “auto configuration” software, called “ACM.”

Ford sued Versata on February 19, 2015, and asked a federal court in Detroit to declare that it had not copied Versata’s software.  After almost two decades of using Versata software to run its vehicle development process, Ford claimed that it had developed a new software program to replace Versata entirely on its own.  Ford told Versata that there was a “Chinese Wall” to prevent copying of Versata’s software and trade secrets.

Yet just last month, a high level Ford Motor Company executive, David Baxter, former Director of Application Development and project leader of the PDO software, admitted under oath that there was no “Chinese Wall,” that copying might have occurred, and that Ford misled and deceived Versata. Within two weeks of this explosive testimony, Ford asked the Michigan court to “stay” or halt the case it filed sixteen months earlier, delaying indefinitely a ruling on whether Ford copied and pirated Versata’s software.

The liability and theft of Versata’s ACM software could exceed $1 billion, according to Versata.

Lanny J. Davis, attorney for Versata, stated, “This is classic Ford behavior: They steal, accuse, and then when they are caught, they try to cover up.”  But, added Davis, “this time they won’t get away with it.  Ford knows that Versata requested a court order depriving Ford from using Versata’s stolen software that they heavily rely on in virtually all product development operations.  If Versata wins, as I believe they should, then Ford’s public shareholders are going to ask: Why didn’t you tell us about all this?”

In Versata’s Opposition to Ford’s Motion to Stay the Michigan case, Versata attorneys stated:

“….Ford waited sixteen months to file any IPRs at all.  Obviously, Ford considers its IPRs a low priority.  Yet Ford wants this Court to stop everything, rescind its scheduling order, and stay the entire case indefinitely based on petitions that Ford apparently views as little more than an afterthought….

“Why does Ford suddenly want to stay the very lawsuit it filed?  The most plausible answer is that Ford has gotten caught stealing Versata’s trade secrets, copyrights, and software technology.  Before Ford filed suit, Ford claimed that it had put a “Chinese Wall” in place to protect Versata’s software against copying and reverse engineering.  Now discovery has shown that at least forty Ford personnel were on both sides of this “Wall” – meaning that they worked on the development of Ford’s PDO software after, or even during, the time that they had access to Versata’s ACM software.  Given this evidence, it is not surprising that Ford now seeks to avoid a trial of these issues.”

Davis continued, “If this tactic by Ford isn’t an obvious attempt to just continue its prior pattern of trickery and deception in this matter, I don’t know what is.”

Versata’s motion to oppose the Ford motion to stay the case and allow the Ford challenge in the USPTO to proceed is case number 15-10628, Ford Motor Company v. Versata Software, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  Versata’s motion to oppose the Ford request for a stay of the Michigan federal court case can be found here.

About Versata Software, Inc.

With a global presence covering 45 countries, Versata Software, Inc. and its affiliates solve the most complex business problems for the world’s largest organizations. Versata’s family of companies includes a number of leading enterprise solution providers, including Versata, Inc., Instance, Inc., Artemis International Solutions Corporation, Genzyme Corporation, Clear Technology, Inc., Everest Software, Tenfold Corporation, Cora Software, Inc., Evolutionary Technologies, Inc., and Alter Point, Inc. Versata distinguishes itself in the software industry by focusing on customer priorities as driven by value delivered. Versata’s market-leading Customer Success Program ensures customer involvement in product decisions and business priorities and provides twice-yearly opportunities for customers to score Versata’s performance against commitments. Versata’s world-class engineering capability ensures substantive and valuable product releases, thereby ensuring customer success. Versata’s relentless focus on customer priorities, coupled with an unmatched global engineering capability, provides Versata customers continuous innovation and repeatable value propositions. For more information, visit www.versata.com.

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Describes “pattern of deception” that has marked the case

Detroit, MI (April 11, 2016) – Versata Software, Inc. (“Versata”) today asked Ford Motor Company (“Ford”) to release the deposition video of Mike Sullivan, the Program Manager of Ford’s PDO software, and retract Sullivan’s testimony, which Versata claims is false. Versata is accusing Ford of stealing Versata’s valuable trade secrets and technology that saved Ford over $1 billion dollars over the last 10 years. The issue of the theft is currently before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Specifically, Mr. Sullivan said there were 24 Versata employees and/or contractors that lived in the Dearborn, Michigan area and worked with Ford. Sullivan submitted a sworn affidavit stating that those 24 Versata employees are believed to reside in or around Dearborn. This claim substantially bolstered Ford’s argument to keep the case in Michigan, as opposed to Versata’s requested venue in Texas (where Versata is headquartered). After the fact, Ford’s attorneys amended the number to just 10 out of the original 24 individuals who actually live in or around Dearborn.

Sullivan refused to admit his original affidavit was false during his deposition. He also declined to state that he would sign the affidavit again as is – under penalty of perjury – when asked by Versata attorneys. Ford has since designated the entirety of the deposition as “confidential,” denying the public access to viewing it. Versata plans to seek an order from the court as soon as possible that Sullivan’s false testimony be de-designated as “confidential” and made available to the public.

“The public has a right to see Mr. Sullivan’s actions firsthand,” said Lanny J. Davis, counsel for Versata in a letter to Ford’s counsel. “This is yet another example of the ongoing pattern of deception, and misstatements by Ford Motor Company. Ford may think it can hide behind a court order that protects its confidential information, but there is nothing confidential about these misstatements. We will not stand for any more of their witness’ misstatements under oath.”

The fact that his affidavit was written and submitted on Ford’s attorneys’ letterhead makes the incident all the more curious, especially in light of recent events concerning alleged misstatements in some of Ford’s other witness affidavits.

“The number of examples of Ford’s misconduct in this case is getting too long to list,” said Davis. “From the theft of the Versata’s software, to the misstatements about having “Chinese Wall” when working on the software, to a top executive’s alleged statement reinforcing the decision to steal the software that ‘we won’t let [Versata] have us over a barrel.’ Now, we can add to Mike Sullivan’s misstatements to the list. When is this going to stop?”

This is in reference to case number 15-10628, Ford Motor Company v. Versata Software, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

About Versata Software, Inc.

With a global presence covering 45 countries, Versata Software, Inc. and its affiliates solve the most complex business problems for the world’s largest organizations. Versata’s family of companies includes a number of leading enterprise solution providers, including Versata, Inc., Instance, Inc., Artemis International Solutions Corporation, Genzyme Corporation, Clear Technology, Inc., Everest Software, Tenfold Corporation, Cora Software, Inc., Evolutionary Technologies, Inc., and Alter Point, Inc. Versata distinguishes itself in the software industry by focusing on customer priorities as driven by value delivered. Versata’s market-leading Customer Success Program ensures customer involvement in product decisions and business priorities and provides twice-yearly opportunities for customers to score Versata’s performance against commitments. Versata’s world-class engineering capability ensures substantive and valuable product releases, thereby ensuring customer success. Versata’s relentless focus on customer priorities, coupled with an unmatched global engineering capability, provides Versata customers continuous innovation and repeatable value propositions. For more information, visit www.versata.com.

Contact:
Eleanor McManus
emcmanus@levick.com
(202) 973-5337 office
(202) 460-1451 cell

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law360logo

Law360, New York (October 13, 2015, 4:17 PM ET) — Private detective and television personality Bo Dietl told a federal judge Friday that his investigative company has been slandered by Ford Motor Corp. in the automaker’s ongoing patent and trade secrets case with Texas-based Versata Software Inc.

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The AM Law Litigation Daily

There are some lawyers who, when asked to comment on litigation, reply with a slight sneer, “We don’t intend to try our case in the media.” And there are others who seem to like nothing more—because sometimes, the court of public opinion is exactly the right forum for a dispute. Case in point: a press conference on Friday by Lanny Davis and his client, former New York City police detective Richard “Bo” Dietl.

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Attorney Lanny J. Davis files motion in Michigan federal court representing renowned investigator Beau Dietl and former police officers

Filing says there is serious danger to the former law enforcement officers’ reputations, and that Ford’s lies existing on the Internet are the equivalent of a “ticking time bomb”

New York, NY (October 9, 2015) – In a motion filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Beau Dietl & Associates (“BD&A”) accuses Ford Motor Company (“Ford”) of defaming and lying about Beau Dietl and his accomplished team of investigators, including former Detroit and New York City police officers. Dietl and his attorneys – Lanny J. Davis of Washington, D.C. and Martha J. Olijnyk of Rochester, Michigan – are asking Ford to withdraw its lies and apologize.

In a case involving Versata Software Company (“Versata”) and Ford, Bo Dietl and his investigators interviewed witnesses as part of their investigative process. In response, Ford prepared affidavits in an effort to block the investigation. These affidavits contain false accusations of criminal conduct, and unprofessional and thuggish behavior – all of which pose a serious threat to the former law enforcement officers’ reputations, and to BD&A’s business. BD&A explored various legal options, and after lengthy consideration finally decided that this was the only option.

Dietl’s Motion states: “[We] were doing [our] job, professionally, respectfully and properly. In return, Ford has made scurrilous and defamatory accusations, under the shield of ‘litigation.’ It continued, “Ford was involved in the drafting of witness declarations, which accused highly decorated former police officers of criminal conduct, such as trespass … Ford should apologize to the former law enforcement officials and withdraw their lies.”

The filing is named “Motion for Equitable Relief Striking or Expunging Scandalous Material from the Record and for a Finding of Falsity of the Material.” “Ford is cloaking character assassination in the guise of a legal pleading in order to protect itself from defamation,” Dietl said in a national telephonic press conference held today. “These affidavits are a ticking time bomb to our reputation, and they could be fatal to our continued business if left uncorrected.”

The Motion further described the primary issue in the very first paragraph, stating:

“Ford Motor Company falsely accused [the decorated former law enforcement officers] of thuggish and unprofessional behavior in the materials it filed in this lawsuit. [We] have strong professional and personal interests in removing the stain on their reputations created by Ford’s false accusations.  These accusations, which are accessible to the public over the internet, have the potential to cause serious professional and economic harm. Indeed, if Ford had made these accusations outside the courtroom, they would constitute defamation per se.”

To clear their reputations, BD&A is asking the Court to hold a public hearing on the evidence behind these accusations and, after hearing the evidence, to expunge the record.

“These filings against Beau Dietl and his team are yet another example of the ongoing pattern of trickery, deception, and lies by Ford Motor Company,” said Davis. “We will not stand for defamatory comments against good, honest professionals – whether they are deceptively hidden behind the shield of a legal pleading or not.”

This is in reference to case number 15-10628, Ford Motor Company v. Versata Software, Inc. and Richard Bo Dietl et al, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

About Beau Dietl & Associates

Beau Dietl & Associates (“BD&A”) is a premier private investigation company based in New York City with offices in New Jersey, Florida and California. It has affiliates in every large city across the United States through its unique Investigations.com network. BD&A also has partners around the world in almost every country. These contacts were developed from over 30 years of experience in the private investigations and security sector. What differentiates BD&A from others in the investigative industry is one word – experience. Its goal is to provide the most comprehensive and thorough investigations. Prompt turnaround, quality investigations, and continuing communication make Beau Dietl & Associates the benchmark for excellence in security and investigations. Visit www.investigations.com.

Contact:
Eleanor McManus
emcmanus@levick.com
(202) 973-5337 office
(202) 460-1451 cell

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Detroit News

Bo Dietl has a beef with Ford Motor Co.

The television personality, former New York detective and private investigator who was recently a pitchman for Arby’s roast beef sandwiches, told The Detroit News on Tuesday he plans to file a lawsuit against the Dearborn automaker after he alleges Ford slandered his investigative company in an ongoing lawsuit against a Texas-based software company.

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Bloomberg

Bloomberg (July 20, 2015) — A Texas software company sued Ford Motor Co., claiming the automaker stole trade secrets and is infringing multiple patents.

In a complaint filed July 15 in Sherman, Texas, federal court, Versata Inc. said it disclosed secrets to Ford beginning in 1998 related to software used in designing and configuring automotive product lines.

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Crains-Detroit-Business

Crain’s Detroit Business (July 19, 2015, 8:00 AM ET) — An Austin, Texas-based company has launched a public campaign to go with its $1 billion lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. Versata Software claims Ford stole its trade secrets by creating a copycat version of a proprietary vehicle development program.

Mike Richards, a Ford employee of 27 years before being let go in 2008, told Crain’s sister publication Automotive News that Versata’s software helped boost Ford profits after the two companies began working together in 1998.

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Automotive-News

Automotive News, Detroit, MI (July 19, 2015, 12:01 AM ET) — During a 27-year career at Ford Motor Co., Mike Richards oversaw the launch of the first Lincoln Navigator and held several high-level marketing positions. At one point, he had an office next to now-CEO Mark Fields.

Despite being let go in 2008, when the automaker was slashing jobs to survive the industry downturn, “I still have blue blood,” Richards told Automotive News this month. “I am still as loyal to Ford as they come.”

But in his new life as a software company executive, Ford has suddenly become Richards’ adversary.

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Inautonews

Ford Motor, the second largest US automaker, has been sued by a former software supplier asking one billion dollars in compensation for allegedly misusing trade secrets for product development software.

The plaintiff, Versata Inc. from Texas, is a software development company that claims Ford used without prior consent the company’s proprietary information in certain programs it then went on and patented as its own.

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