Klein & Wilson

Ford sued for intellectual property theft

California motorists who own Ford vehicles may have heard that the auto manufacturer is being sued for intellectual property theft. On May 7, Versata, a software company, filed a complaint against Ford for using its software without permission. Then on June 3, the Texas software company asked a judge to issue an injunction against Ford.

The intellectual property dispute has its genesis in a contract signed in 1998 pursuant to which Ford agreed to pay Versata $8.45 million per year to use the company's software. The software, called Automotive Configuration Manager, was used in Ford's vehicle development process to identify incompatible vehicle parts. Ford used Versata's software until 2014 when the vehicle manufacturer purportedly developed its own software.

Although Ford received a patent for its internally developed software, Versata claims that the software was not Ford's original creation. According to a lawyer representing Versata, the information that Ford gave to the patent office contained a code that was derived from a code owned by Versata. The lawsuit claims that the Ford employees who developed the newly patented software were the same employees who worked on Versata's software. However, Ford claims that its engineers developed vehicle configuration technology that is very different from the Automotive Configuration Manager that is owned by Versata.

The owner of a software company may want to consult with an attorney who has experience in intellectual property matters before signing a license agreement with another party. Legal counsel may be able to help protect the company's ownership of its proprietary assets while software is being licensed and after the agreement has ended.

Source: Automotive News, "Ford accused by software maker of intellectual property theft," Nick Bunkley, June 4, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  1. RATED BY | Super Lawyers | Top 100 | Southern California | SuperLawyers.com
  2. Avvo Rating | 10.0 | SUperb | Top Attorney Litigation
  3. PREEMINENT AV | Martindale-Hubbell | PeerReviewRated
  4. RATED BY | Super Lawyers | Top 50 | Orange County | SuperLawyers.com
  5. Best Lawyers | BEST LAW FIRMS | U.S.NEWS | 2018
  6. KLEIN & WILSON | RECOGNIZED BY | Best Lawyers | 2019
  7. AMERICA'S TOP 100 | TOP 100 | ATTORNEYS
  8. The AMERICAN LAWYER
  9. AVVO Client's Choice | Award 2017
  10. OCTLA | Orange County | Trial Lawyers Association | Trial Lawyer Of The Year
  11. The National Trial Lawyers | Top 40 Under 40

Contact Our Attorneys Today

Please call the law office at 949-478-0521 or fill out the form below to arrange a consultation with a lawyer.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Get Started

Klein & Wilson
4770 Von Karman Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: 949-478-0521
Fax: 949-631-3703
Newport Beach Law Office Map

Map
Firm Office