In December, Ford and Versata enter into a license agreement.
Ford implemented a secret project to steal Versata’s patented technology, assigning employees with detailed knowledge of Versata’s trade secrets to create a “copy-cat” version.
Ford applies for a patent without disclosing that its proposed “new” invention was in fact derived, in whole or in part, from copied Versata software.
More than 60 days prior to the expiration of the license agreements (as required by the agreement), Versata issued a written non-renewal notice advising Ford the ACM/MCA license agreements would terminate at the end of current term.
Versata representatives (Mike Richards, Greg Gunwall, and Lance Jones) meet with Ford representatives (Dave Baxter, Jennifer Qussar and Ford Attorney Damian Pocari) to attempt to negotiate an extension based on the proposal made by Versata in September. Versata indicates a willingness to negotiate that proposal. Ford refuses to negotiate at all.
Ford filed a Declaratory Judgment complaint in U.S. District Court, under seal (in secret, not accessible to the public, and unknown by Versata). This was in violation of court rules (Local Rule. 5.3.) barring sealed complaints unless the judge gives prior approval and issues an order. The attorneys for Ford must have known that they were violating this rule when they improperly filed the complaint under seal.
Versata files motion for Preliminary Injunction to stop Ford from using ACM software in its plants in the U.S. and abroad and to require Ford to comply with License Agreement terms to allow ACM to audit and review Ford’s facilities and personnel to ensure compliance with protecting protected ACM confidential information and intellectual property.