DETROIT, July 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Last Thursday, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB") denied Ford Motor Company's ("Ford") attempt to have six of Versata Software, Inc.'s ("Versata") patents reviewed for legitimacy—cementing their significance in revolutionizing the automotive industry. To date, Ford has sought nearly 30 challenges to the underlying patents of Versata's software, all of which have been dismissed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO").
"Ford has been denied yet again its attempt to circumvent the court—the same court Ford hand-picked for its initial secret filing," said Versata Attorney Lanny Davis. "The PTAB's denial of a rehearing on Versata's patents leaves Ford with few options, and makes possible an injunction of the alleged copied IP for which Ford is admittedly unprepared for," Davis said.
"At every turn in the case of Versata accusing Ford of stealing its software, Ford has lost in court or its public statements have been proved to be lies," said Davis.
Versata's Automotive Configuration Management (ACM) software, a ground-breaking platform perfected by a decade of labor by Versata software engineers, is a critical component in the development of Ford vehicles. Since ACM was integrated, the software is estimated to have saved Ford more than a billion dollars over 10 years.
According to case number 15-10628 as the licensing renewal date neared, Ford managers grew tired of paying for the software and instead sought to steal it for their own. A cloning committee, lead by Elena Ford, began copying ACM to produce a substitute product, a clear violation of the licensing agreement's confidentiality clause.
When Versata caught Ford copying their ACM technology, Ford stated that there was a "Chinese Wall" between software developers and those working with ACM's technology—a claim that Ford executives have since discredited in sworn testimony. Knowing this was a lie, Ford raced to federal court to file a secretive lawsuit, a maneuver the court threw out as deceptive and unfair.
Since Versata caught Ford stealing its software, Ford has sought to circumvent the legal system by challenging Versata's patents in the PTO nearly 30 times. Each time, the PTO has reaffirmed Versata's innovative technology and contributions to the automotive industry, making Versata a small minority of patent owners who have survived the PTAB review process unscathed. With last Thursday's PTAB ruling, Ford is running out of deceptive tactics to avoid the merits of Versata's lawsuit in a court of law.
"Ford filed a suit in Michigan claiming they invented their copycat software with a Chinese wall, meaning that Ford employees with direct knowledge of ACM software were not involved in the creation of their substitute software," said Davis. "Then, when the facts contradicted their claim and proved that Ford employees with deep knowledge of ACM worked on both sides of the wall, they changed their story and said they could copy Versata's software because Versata did not own the patents. They tried this nonsensical tactic with the PTO nearly 30 times and were rejected every time," said Davis.
"Our complaint in court states that Ford has not been truthful when it denies stealing our software, and recently we reminded the media that at their June shareholders meeting, they did not disclose their potential $1 billion liability if they can't use the copy-cat technology software that we allege they stole from us, with an admission that they have no back-up plan - clearly material information to their shareholders," Versata attorney Lanny Davis said. "Ford shareholders should demand truth, transparency, and accountability from Ford's management, including Elena Ford, who sat on the committee that oversaw what Versata alleges is the theft of its software technology."
For more information please go to www.truthaboutford.com.
This is in reference to case number 15-10628, Ford Motor Company v. Versata Software, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
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.
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SOURCE Versata Software