In the matter Versata Software, Inc. v. Ford Motor Company, Versata asserted that Ford had infringed over a dozen Versata patents, misappropriated over 30 trade secrets, infringed several Versata copyrights and breached contracts relating to Versata’s computer software for configuring vehicles. Versata originally sought over $1.4 billion dollars in damages from Ford. Ford denied Versata’s claims, asserting Versata’s software was obsolete, that Ford built and patented its own superior replacement software, and that Ford did not copy any Versata intellectual property. Ford also asserted that Versata’s damages claim was outlandish and unsupported by evidence.
Representing Ford through more than eight years of pretrial litigation, Brooks Kushman continuously chipped away at Versata’s claims and damages demand. Through 60 depositions, more than 1000 docket entries, multiple rounds of summary judgment, and multiple Daubert decisions excluding Versata’s damages experts, Versata’s claims reduced to just four trade secrets and breach of contract. Versata’s patent and copyright claims were dismissed through summary judgment or dropped altogether, but Versata’s unreasonable damages claims continued to rise. The case finally reached the jury in October 2022, over a three-week trial in the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. Lacking any evidence to support Versata’s ever-increasing demand, the jury speculated on damages and awarded Versata over $104 million. Ford moved for judgment as a matter of law asserting, as it had done through the case, that Versata’s liability and damages claims were unfounded. Earlier this week, Hon. Matthew F. Leitman issued a 50-page opinion vacating the jury’s damages verdict, awarding Versata $0 in trade secret damages, and awarding Versata $3 in “nominal” damages for its breach of contract claims. The Court agreed with Ford that Versata lacked evidence of any actual damage arising from Ford’s alleged wrongdoing.
The Brooks Kushman Trial Team Members Were: John LeRoy, Tom Lewry, Christopher Smith, Chanille Carswell, and Reza Esfahani.
Other Team Members Included: Jim Feeney from Dykema and Jessica Ellsworth from Hogan Lovells