DETROIT, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Lanny J. Davis, an attorney representing Versata Software, Inc. ("Versata"), is introducing a new podcast series entitled, "To Catch a Thief: The Story of Ford Motor Company Stealing $1 Billion in Trade Secrets from Versata."
Davis' announcement, and the first podcast in the series, can be heard at: www.truthaboutford.com/to-catch-a-thief-announcement/. Davis' first guest on the podcast is Mike Richards, President of Versata Automotive.
"Ford poses as a high-tech company to its customers and investors," Davis said. "But, we allege Ford steals and imitates others' technology rather than innovate its own products."
Davis will contend in his biweekly podcasts and media announcements, based on public facts, testimony, and documents developed in the ongoing litigation between Versata and Ford, that key Ford managers and contractors secretly stole Versata's Automotive Configuration Manager ("ACM") software, a ground-breaking platform perfected by a decade of labor by Versata software engineers, and a critical component in the development of Ford vehicles. Versata's software is estimated to have saved Ford more than a billion dollars since it was first licensed.
Davis will tell the compelling story of Ford stealing technology, that at times seems too incredible to be believed. But truth is stranger than fiction in this unfished story. Its final chapter will be written by the jury – once they hear all the facts in the case.
The story opens in 2004, when Ford faced rising costs because of a slow and flawed product development process that caused higher warranty and recall costs, reduced customer satisfaction by producing large numbers of incorrectly assembled vehicles, and even impaired Ford's ability to forecast expenses. That year, Ford began licensing Versata's software. Not long after, Ford executives praised the software for its efficiency and cost savings.
"[Versata] helps Ford dramatically improve quality and speed to market—while significantly reducing costs," then-President of Ford Motor Company North America, Jim Padilla, said in promotional materials.
After nearly a decade of Ford using Versata's software, Ford grew tired of paying the annual license fee. Sometime in 2011, Ford established a secret group to steal Versata's trade secrets and create copycat software – a clear violation of their licensing agreement. When Ford entered into the licensing agreement, they promised never to share Versata's trade secrets with anyone outside of the designated product development team. However, Ford employees have made clear in sworn depositions that this separation between the designated product development team and the secret group copying Versata's trade secrets never existed, even though Ford claimed it had.
With the secret Ford committee working for three years to copy Versata's software, Ford abruptly ended contract renegotiations with Versata in 2014 – claiming they had developed their own software, independent of Versata's. Recognizing Ford's deceptive behavior, Versata began asking probing questions about the development of the copycat software.
Shortly after Versata discovered Ford's secretly-developed, copycat software, Ford raced to file a secret lawsuit in federal court. Ford sought a federal judge to recognize Ford's copycat software as not infringing upon Versata's software patents. The court promptly rejected Ford's secret filing and threatened penalties for violating federal rules. After adhering to the court's decision and filing a public case, Ford then turned to the U.S. patent office and began filing challenges to Versata patents. All told, Ford submitted a total of 23 challenges. All 23 challenges have been denied by the patent office, an unheard-of rate of failure. And with that, Ford's attempt to circumvent the legal process ended, and the battle shifted to the courtroom, where the truth could finally be decided.
The first episode of "To Catch a Thief" will start at the beginning of the story, with the creation of Versata's ACM software and the billions it saved Ford Motor Company in automotive production costs. Episode one will be released on August 15 and can be heard at: http://www.truthaboutford.com/to-catch-a-thief/.
About Versata Software, Inc.
With a global presence covering 45 countries, Versata Software, Inc. and its affiliates solve the most complex business problems for the world's largest organizations. Versata's family of companies includes a number of leading enterprise solution providers, including Versata, Inc., Instance, Inc., Artemis International Solutions Corporation, Genzyme Corporation, Clear Technology, Inc., Everest Software, Tenfold Corporation, Cora Software, Inc., Evolutionary Technologies, Inc., and Alter Point, Inc. Versata distinguishes itself in the software industry by focusing on customer priorities as driven by value delivered. Versata's market-leading Customer Success Program ensures customer involvement in product decisions and business priorities and provides twice-yearly opportunities for customers to score Versata's performance against commitments. Versata's world-class engineering capability ensures substantive and valuable product releases, thereby ensuring customer success. Versata's relentless focus on customer priorities, coupled with an unmatched global engineering capability, provides Versata customers continuous innovation and repeatable value propositions. For more information, visit www.versata.com.
SOURCE Versata Software