Versata v. Ford Motor Company – The firm represented Versata Software, Inc. in a trade secret infringement case against Ford Motor Company. The case was complex and involved highly technical evidence regarding computer software. After three weeks of trial, the jury in Detroit found that Ford had breached its contract with Versata and misappropriated the trade secrets in Versata’s proprietary configuration software, awarding Versata $105 million.
Intellectual Property & Misappropriation
Intellectual property disputes involve far more than registered trademarks and copyrights. Although Young, Garcia & Quadrozzi routinely handles such matters with a resounding record of success, more often the intellectual property most critical to our sophisticated business clients consists of formulas, business processes, non-compete clauses and confidentiality agreements. Initially, the Firm consults with our business and entrepreneur clients to ensure that these interests are protected and enforced. When disputes arise, the Firm routinely litigates these types of intellectual property cases across the country.
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. v. Computer Methods Corporation – This case involved the joint venture development of high-tech tire tag technology between the parties. The Firm represented Defendant Computer Methods Corporation. The trial was in the U.S. District Court in Nashville, TN. Bridgestone/Firestone, represented by Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, sued for $23.0 Million and was awarded nothing by the jury in its verdict. The jury granted Computer Methods Corporation over $600,000 of a $700,000 Counterclaim against Bridgestone.
Ford v. TSC – Ford filed a lawsuit against TSC in Wayne County Circuit Court, claiming that the operational speeds in a complex software package were deficient. The Firm represented TSC, a public company. Ford asked for over $30 million in damages from TSC initially and demanded a verdict of $14 million at trial. The case was mediated for $6 million against TSC. After a 10-day trial, a jury awarded $3.1 million to Ford but the case was settled for substantially less prior to appeal.
Advanced Aerofoil Technologies v. Flowcastings GmbH – The Firm represented a team of American and German entrepreneurs and engineers and their business venture, a jet engine supplier, in fraud and trade secret actions brought in the Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of New York and before the American Arbitration Association. After significant motion practice in the federal cases and a full arbitration hearing, the Firm won complete dismissal of all federal cases and an arbitration award of no cause of action for alleged misappropriation and all other claims. The arbitrator further awarded in excess of $300,000 in legal fees to the clients and against the plaintiffs.
Garden Fresh Gourmet v. Buddies Foods, et al. – The Firm represented gourmet foods company in a misappropriation of trade secret and unfair competition case against two former employees who stole a trade secret recipe/formula for the client’s product, then formed a new company to manufacture and sell their “knock-off” version. After a week-long trial in state court, the jury found the defendants liable for misappropriation and awarded all damages sought by the Firm. Thereafter, the Firm secured a permanent injunction preventing defendants from manufacturing their “knock-off” product and driving one of the defendants into bankruptcy.
MAI Systems Corporation v. Peak Computer, Inc., et al. – The Firm represented plaintiff MAI Systems in this case involving copyright infringement allegations for computer operating systems. The Court ruled that when a computer is turned on, the transfer of the data from the hard drive to the RAM is the equivalent of making a copy, and only the owner or licensee could do it. This created a significant problem for aftermarket service companies. It triggered efforts to pass a new law beginning in the U.S. House by Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (R.- Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) to revise the Copyright Act so that it would permit the “rightful possessor” of the program to copy it for that purpose. Mr. Young acted as lead lobbyist for the ultimately successful efforts to amend the Copyright Act.
Kolene Corporation v. Ciarlone, et al. – This case involved allegations of conspiracy and expropriation of trade secrets against several Defendants. The Firm represented Plaintiff Kolene, the world’s largest manufacturer of molten salt cleaning systems for industrial processes ranging from aerospace to automobile. The Oakland County jury awarded Kolene a $1.3 million verdict and the Judge issued a Preliminary Injunction against Defendants, a competitor and a former Vice President.
Repunetics, Inc. v. Virtual Technology, Inc. – This case involved a contract dispute over the design and manufacture of sophisticated electronic disc-drive cabinets for Virtual. The Firm represented the Defendant Virtual. The Ann Arbor jury awarded Plaintiff nothing on its multi-million dollar claim against Virtual and awarded Virtual nearly $200,000 on its counterclaim. This case generated a great deal of interest in the high-tech market.