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Attorney Lanny J. Davis Accuses Ford of “Lying” About Protecting Versata’s Trade Secrets and Automobile Technology

July 16, 2015

“You looked us in the eye and said you protected 

our technology and you lied,” said Davis.

Detroit, Michigan (July 16, 2015) — At a press conference today in Southfield, Michigan, not too far from Ford Motor Company’s corporate headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, Versata attorney Lanny J. Davis, standing in front of a brick wall with a large hole in the middle, accused Ford of lying about protecting Versata’s valuable trade secrets and technology that saved Ford over $1 billion dollars over the last 10 years.

Davis began the press conference by reminding Ford that the only reason he is going to the media as an attorney is to provide facts and correct the record of false, defamatory, and deceitful statements made in Ford’s published court filings that cannot await correction until a final verdict occurs in the litigation. In order to get the facts out, Versata has established a website: www.truthaboutford.com.

Before Davis began his comments at the press conference, he played a short excerpt from the movie, “Flash of Genius,” depicting the story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns. Kearns invented the intermittent windshield wiper and took the idea to Ford, with assurances and promises by Ford that they would honor his invention. Then, after Ford stole the invention, he spent the rest of his life fighting them as they tried to get away with their theft without paying for it.

“We’re seeing the sequel of this true story in real life today in the way Ford is treating Versata, especially the undisputed facts about the lie concerning the ‘Chinese wall’ that was expressly promised to Versata, but not delivered” Davis stated.

Davis detailed the specifics of what occurred on December 19, 2014 when Ford senior managers and attorneys informed Versata executives for the first time that Ford had duplicated Versata’s automobile configuration technology. The Ford executives at that meeting assured Versata executives that there was a “Chinese Wall” separating those who worked and knew the trade secrets associated with Versata’s technology from those on the other side of the “wall” who allegedly secretly worked on duplicating Versata’s software. Versata invested several hundred million dollars over many years to develop this patented technology.

Speaking at the press conference with Davis was the President of Versata, Mike Richards who also attended the meeting with Ford on December 19, 2014.

While standing by the replica of the brick wall, Richards stated, “They lied. They looked us in the eye and they told us there was a Chinese Wall knowing full well that there were more than a dozen people on both sides of the wall, including the program manager for Versata’s technology who was also secretly supervising the group developing the replacement technology.”

The names of these individuals were publicly disclosed, probably without realizing the implications, in public court papers Ford filed in federal court.

Davis continued, “Today, I call on Ford to deny or affirm that what I just said was the truth – that there was no Chinese Wall — because how could there be if there were people on both sides of that wall? I call on Ford to look at the wall behind me to deny that the huge hole in it was exactly what they knew on December 19, 2014 when they lied to us that there was no such hole.”

The lawsuit Versata filed in Texas against Ford in May 2014 will seek more than $1 billion in unjust savings derived from the theft of its technology program.

Davis said, that in coming weeks and months, as investigation of the facts continue, he will be detailing that Ford not only engaged in deception, trickery, and secrecy, but they are trying to cover it up by attempting to thwart Versata’s investigation of the true facts behind its theft of the Versata’s technology.

As previously stated, here are the examples of trickery and deception by Ford Motor Company: 

  • Ford held secret meetings to develop its copy-cat product to replace Versata’s software, which violated an explicit promise to Versata that there was a Chinese Wall.
  • Ford applied for a patent in 2011 without disclosing that their proposed “new” invention was in fact derived, in whole or in part, from copied Versata trade secrets and patented software.
  • Ford refused to disclose the names of any of the individuals who worked on the replacement product, even though Versata has identified at least 14 people who previously had access to Versata’s technology.
  • Ford denied Versata its contractual right to conduct an “on site” verification to confirm that its trade secrets had remained confidential.
  • Ford, in an apparent effort to have Versata’s accounting department deposit the check unknowingly, sends a check to Versata for $8.45 million for a one year extension of the ACM license after negotiations broke down and Versata had issued a non-renewal notice.
  • Ford filed a complaint in U.S. District Court under seal (in secret, not accessible to the public, and unknown by Versata). This was in violation of court rules barring sealed complaints unless the judge gives prior approval and issues an order. 

For more information please visit www.truthaboutford.com.

The press conference, and lawsuit, is in reference to case number: 4:15-CV-00316, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. 

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.


Eleanor McManus

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