Versata Software, Inc. Awarded $100M+ in Landmark Case Against Ford Motor Company

Jaye Quadrozzi

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI—Young, Garcia & Quadrozzi, PC, a Farmington Hills, Mich.-based boutique law firm specializing in complex commercial litigation, announced today plaintiff Versata Software, Inc. (Versata) was victorious over defendant Ford Motor Company in the case: Versata Software, Inc., et al. v. Ford Motor Company (Case. No.15-10628-MFL-EAS, Eastern District of Michigan). On Wednesday, October 26, Versata was awarded more than $100 million in damages following a unanimous jury decision. Young, Garcia & Quadrozzi shareholder Jaye Quadrozzi made the announcement.

In an important victory on plaintiff Versata’s behalf, a trial team led by Winston & Strawn trial lawyer Dan Webb (first chair), along with Matthew Carter (Winston & Strawn), Steven Mitby (Mitby Pacholder Johnson PLLC), and Jaye Quadrozzi (Young, Garcia, & Quadrozzi, PC), secured a plaintiff verdict for client Versata Software, Inc., et al. following a jury trial presided over by Judge Matthew Leitman in the Eastern District of Michigan.

“The significance of this massive victory over Ford Motor Company is two-fold,” said Quadrozzi. “First, a win of this scale over a local OEM — and the fifth-largest automaker in the world — in The Motor City is incredibly rare. Second, and of utmost importance, is the protection of intellectual property at the highest level.”

Plaintiffs Versata Software, Inc. f/k/a Trilogy Software, Inc.; Versata Development Group, Inc.; and Trilogy, Inc. (collectively, “Versata”) sued Ford Motor Company in 2015, alleging the car manufacturer misappropriated Versata’s intellectual property to create a “like-for-like” replacement of Versata’s proprietary configuration software, breaching the parties’ licensing agreement.

Ford and Versata entered into a subscription agreement in 2004 that, through multiple renewals, granted Ford the automotive configuration software (ACM) license for 10 years. Versata accused Ford of misappropriating its trade secrets and breaching the licensing agreement in 2014, when Versata learned that Ford had developed its own software to replace ACM.

Versata brought both trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract claims against Ford, seeking damages for each. Ford in turn brought a breach of contract claim against Versata. The contentious litigation lasted over seven years, culminating in a three-week October 2022 jury trial, which concluded with a unanimous ruling in favor of Versata from the eight-person jury. Versata won six of the eight claims and defeated Ford’s single counterclaim. The jury determined that over $80 million in damages fairly compensated Versata for its breach of contract claims and that over $20 million in damages fairly compensated Versata for Ford’s misappropriation of three of Versata’s trade secrets.

Opposing counsel on the case included James Feeney of Dykema Gossett; John LeRoy, Thomas Lewry, Christopher Smith and Chanille Carswell of Brooks Kushman; and Jessica Lynn Ellsworth of Hogan Lovells US LLP.

The full trial team representing Versata was led by Winston & Strawn and included Partners Dan Webb, Matthew Carter, and Brian Nisbet; Associates Sarah Krajewski, John Drosick, Sam Zuidema, Monica Kociolek, Kelly Mannion Ellis, Pat Simonaitis, and Tyree-Petty Williams; Paralegals Martha Calvo and Schantel Deal-Ross; and Practice Coordinator Sandra Bell. Winston Associate Jack Leon and Paralegal Pat Pratt also provided invaluable assistance. The Young, Garcia & Quadrozzi team included Shareholder Jaye Quadrozzi and Paralegal Shelley Kulick. The Mitby Pacholder Johnson team included Partners Steven Mitby and Timothy Johnson, Attorney Drew Kim, and Paralegal Geoff Litke. The Jones & Spross team included Lance Jones, Jennifer Trillsch, and Sharoon Saleem.

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