Ford was ordered to pay over 750 million yuan to a software company for violating trade secrets

IT House reported on October 29 that a federal jury in Michigan found Ford Motor Co. guilty of breach of contract and misuse of trade secrets. After three weeks of trial testimony, Ford on Wednesday ruled that the Texas-based company must be charged Versata software company compensated 104.65 million US dollars (about 759 million yuan).

“While we respect the jury’s decision, we believe the facts and the law do not support it,” Ford spokeswoman Kathryn Haggett said. “Ford will appeal the verdict.”

IT Home understands that the point of contention is a 2004 contract between the two companies involving software developed by Versata to manage how car parts are configured during assembly. The jury found that Ford misused confidential information to reverse engineer Versata’s software for its own commercial use and use the software without a license.

According to the jury verdict, the jury awarded Ford $82.26 million for breach of contract and $22.39 million for misuse of trade secrets.

According to Versata attorney Dan Webb, Ford hired Versata in the late 1990s to develop software aimed at solving problems that led to costly recalls. The two companies reached a 15-year contract for Ford to use the software in 2004, but Ford terminated the agreement in 2014, saying they had developed their own software. Webb told the jury that Versata later found Ford “stabbed us in the back” and that the software they secretly developed contained Versata’s trade secrets.

Ford spokesman Haggett said the ruling had no impact on Ford’s current products or activities, “The software has not been used since 2014, it’s back-end enterprise software and was last used nearly a decade ago. , used to support vehicle configuration and design and material prediction. It has never been used in a vehicle.”

Webb, however, said what Ford said was simply not true, and the software is still in use today, which is what inspired the jury’s verdict against Ford.