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Law360, New York (July 7, 2017, 5:38 PM EDT) — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Thursday stood by its decision not to review several Versata patents that were challenged by Ford Motor Co., rejecting the automaker’s argument that it misinterpreted legal precedent surrounding the inter partes review time-bar.

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“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.

DETROIT, July 7, 2017 — Yesterday, 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 yesterday’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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Contact:
Eleanor McManus
emcmanus@tridentdmg.com
(202) 460-1451 cell

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Law360, New York (June 2, 2017, 5:06 PM EDT) — Opening another front in their patent dispute, an attorney for Versata Software Inc. accused Ford Motor Co. on Thursday of misleading shareholders by failing to disclose the “material risks” the  automotive giant faces as a result of Versata’s infringement suit against the company.

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Davis cites Ford for concealing Versata federal law suit from shareholders with potential Ford liability over $1 billion during May 11 “virtual” shareholders meeting.

Challenges Ford VP Elena Ford to disclose whether she intimidated and bullied Ford managers into stealing Versata technology

DETROIT, June 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Lanny J. Davis, attorney for Versata Software, Inc. accused former Ford, CEO Mark Fields of misleading investors during its May 11 “virtual” shareholders meeting by concealing material risks to the company involving Versata’s billion-dollar federal law suit against Ford.  Davis said it appears Fields withheld information from shareholders that could affect Ford’s stock value and perhaps even impact future Ford’s sales and product development.

“We understand Ford has no backup software if it suffers an injunction from its use of copy-cat product development technology that Versata alleges was stolen,” Davis said.  “This should be alarming to shareholders. This means that Ford’s production capabilities and sales could be significantly disrupted, imperiling profits.”

Davis said Ford touts itself as a technology company, but failed to tell shareholders it stole Versata’s valuable technology rather than inventing it, according to the suit.

Davis asked: “Who in the high-tech community would consider working for a company that copies rather than innovates?”

Davis also challenged Ford Vice President Elena Ford, who served on a senior oversight technology development committee, to explain her role in the alleged secret plan to steal Versata’s technology. She is known to have told one Ford manager while the copy-cat program was secretly being developed, “we don’t want to let Versata have us over a barrel.” Davis said this suggests, “why pay for it when you can steal it?”

Davis added this is similar to when Ford recently made Arconic share its aluminum steel-bonding patent with a major competitor, according to Arconic’s largest investor.

“There seems to be a pattern here regarding Ford and new technology – steal it or bully technology vendors, rather than working as partners,” Davis said.  “At the very least, shareholders deserve transparency from Ford about possible material risks to the company from this pattern of conduct by management.”  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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“This is classic Ford behavior: They steal, accuse, and then when they are caught, they try to cover up,” said Versata attorney Lanny J. Davis.

“Versata is seeking a court order stopping Ford from using Versata’s stolen software that they heavily rely on for manufacturing,” Davis said. “Their public shareholders are eventually going to ask: Why didn’t you tell us about all this?”

DETROIT, June 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Versata Software, Inc. (“Versata”) has called out Ford Motor Company for trying to block its own lawsuit after Ford realized it had gotten caught stealing and pirating Versata’s “auto configuration” software, called “ACM.”

Ford sued Versata on February 19, 2015, and asked a federal court in Detroit to declare that it had not copied Versata’s software.  After almost two decades of using Versata software to run its vehicle development process, Ford claimed that it had developed a new software program to replace Versata entirely on its own.  Ford told Versata that there was a “Chinese Wall” to prevent copying of Versata’s software and trade secrets.

Yet just last month, a high level Ford Motor Company executive, David Baxter, former Director of Application Development and project leader of the PDO software, admitted under oath that there was no “Chinese Wall,” that copying might have occurred, and that Ford misled and deceived Versata. Within two weeks of this explosive testimony, Ford asked the Michigan court to “stay” or halt the case it filed sixteen months earlier, delaying indefinitely a ruling on whether Ford copied and pirated Versata’s software.

The liability and theft of Versata’s ACM software could exceed $1 billion, according to Versata.

Lanny J. Davis, attorney for Versata, stated, “This is classic Ford behavior: They steal, accuse, and then when they are caught, they try to cover up.”  But, added Davis, “this time they won’t get away with it.  Ford knows that Versata requested a court order depriving Ford from using Versata’s stolen software that they heavily rely on in virtually all product development operations.  If Versata wins, as I believe they should, then Ford’s public shareholders are going to ask: Why didn’t you tell us about all this?”

In Versata’s Opposition to Ford’s Motion to Stay the Michigan case, Versata attorneys stated:

“….Ford waited sixteen months to file any IPRs at all.  Obviously, Ford considers its IPRs a low priority.  Yet Ford wants this Court to stop everything, rescind its scheduling order, and stay the entire case indefinitely based on petitions that Ford apparently views as little more than an afterthought….

“Why does Ford suddenly want to stay the very lawsuit it filed?  The most plausible answer is that Ford has gotten caught stealing Versata’s trade secrets, copyrights, and software technology.  Before Ford filed suit, Ford claimed that it had put a “Chinese Wall” in place to protect Versata’s software against copying and reverse engineering.  Now discovery has shown that at least forty Ford personnel were on both sides of this “Wall” – meaning that they worked on the development of Ford’s PDO software after, or even during, the time that they had access to Versata’s ACM software.  Given this evidence, it is not surprising that Ford now seeks to avoid a trial of these issues.”

Davis continued, “If this tactic by Ford isn’t an obvious attempt to just continue its prior pattern of trickery and deception in this matter, I don’t know what is.”

Versata’s motion to oppose the Ford motion to stay the case and allow the Ford challenge in the USPTO to proceed is case number 15-10628, Ford Motor Company v. Versata Software, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  Versata’s motion to oppose the Ford request for a stay of the Michigan federal court case can be found here.

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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Describes “pattern of deception” that has marked the case

Detroit, MI (April 11, 2016) – Versata Software, Inc. (“Versata”) today asked Ford Motor Company (“Ford”) to release the deposition video of Mike Sullivan, the Program Manager of Ford’s PDO software, and retract Sullivan’s testimony, which Versata claims is false. Versata is accusing Ford of stealing Versata’s valuable trade secrets and technology that saved Ford over $1 billion dollars over the last 10 years. The issue of the theft is currently before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Specifically, Mr. Sullivan said there were 24 Versata employees and/or contractors that lived in the Dearborn, Michigan area and worked with Ford. Sullivan submitted a sworn affidavit stating that those 24 Versata employees are believed to reside in or around Dearborn. This claim substantially bolstered Ford’s argument to keep the case in Michigan, as opposed to Versata’s requested venue in Texas (where Versata is headquartered). After the fact, Ford’s attorneys amended the number to just 10 out of the original 24 individuals who actually live in or around Dearborn.

Sullivan refused to admit his original affidavit was false during his deposition. He also declined to state that he would sign the affidavit again as is – under penalty of perjury – when asked by Versata attorneys. Ford has since designated the entirety of the deposition as “confidential,” denying the public access to viewing it. Versata plans to seek an order from the court as soon as possible that Sullivan’s false testimony be de-designated as “confidential” and made available to the public.

“The public has a right to see Mr. Sullivan’s actions firsthand,” said Lanny J. Davis, counsel for Versata in a letter to Ford’s counsel. “This is yet another example of the ongoing pattern of deception, and misstatements by Ford Motor Company. Ford may think it can hide behind a court order that protects its confidential information, but there is nothing confidential about these misstatements. We will not stand for any more of their witness’ misstatements under oath.”

The fact that his affidavit was written and submitted on Ford’s attorneys’ letterhead makes the incident all the more curious, especially in light of recent events concerning alleged misstatements in some of Ford’s other witness affidavits.

“The number of examples of Ford’s misconduct in this case is getting too long to list,” said Davis. “From the theft of the Versata’s software, to the misstatements about having “Chinese Wall” when working on the software, to a top executive’s alleged statement reinforcing the decision to steal the software that ‘we won’t let [Versata] have us over a barrel.’ Now, we can add to Mike Sullivan’s misstatements to the list. When is this going to stop?”

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.

Contact:
Eleanor McManus
emcmanus@levick.com
(202) 973-5337 office
(202) 460-1451 cell

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Law360, New York (October 13, 2015, 4:17 PM ET) — Private detective and television personality Bo Dietl told a federal judge Friday that his investigative company has been slandered by Ford Motor Corp. in the automaker’s ongoing patent and trade secrets case with Texas-based Versata Software Inc.

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The AM Law Litigation Daily

There are some lawyers who, when asked to comment on litigation, reply with a slight sneer, “We don’t intend to try our case in the media.” And there are others who seem to like nothing more—because sometimes, the court of public opinion is exactly the right forum for a dispute. Case in point: a press conference on Friday by Lanny Davis and his client, former New York City police detective Richard “Bo” Dietl.

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Attorney Lanny J. Davis files motion in Michigan federal court representing renowned investigator Beau Dietl and former police officers

Filing says there is serious danger to the former law enforcement officers’ reputations, and that Ford’s lies existing on the Internet are the equivalent of a “ticking time bomb”

New York, NY (October 9, 2015) – In a motion filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Beau Dietl & Associates (“BD&A”) accuses Ford Motor Company (“Ford”) of defaming and lying about Beau Dietl and his accomplished team of investigators, including former Detroit and New York City police officers. Dietl and his attorneys – Lanny J. Davis of Washington, D.C. and Martha J. Olijnyk of Rochester, Michigan – are asking Ford to withdraw its lies and apologize.

In a case involving Versata Software Company (“Versata”) and Ford, Bo Dietl and his investigators interviewed witnesses as part of their investigative process. In response, Ford prepared affidavits in an effort to block the investigation. These affidavits contain false accusations of criminal conduct, and unprofessional and thuggish behavior – all of which pose a serious threat to the former law enforcement officers’ reputations, and to BD&A’s business. BD&A explored various legal options, and after lengthy consideration finally decided that this was the only option.

Dietl’s Motion states: “[We] were doing [our] job, professionally, respectfully and properly. In return, Ford has made scurrilous and defamatory accusations, under the shield of ‘litigation.’ It continued, “Ford was involved in the drafting of witness declarations, which accused highly decorated former police officers of criminal conduct, such as trespass … Ford should apologize to the former law enforcement officials and withdraw their lies.”

The filing is named “Motion for Equitable Relief Striking or Expunging Scandalous Material from the Record and for a Finding of Falsity of the Material.” “Ford is cloaking character assassination in the guise of a legal pleading in order to protect itself from defamation,” Dietl said in a national telephonic press conference held today. “These affidavits are a ticking time bomb to our reputation, and they could be fatal to our continued business if left uncorrected.”

The Motion further described the primary issue in the very first paragraph, stating:

“Ford Motor Company falsely accused [the decorated former law enforcement officers] of thuggish and unprofessional behavior in the materials it filed in this lawsuit. [We] have strong professional and personal interests in removing the stain on their reputations created by Ford’s false accusations.  These accusations, which are accessible to the public over the internet, have the potential to cause serious professional and economic harm. Indeed, if Ford had made these accusations outside the courtroom, they would constitute defamation per se.”

To clear their reputations, BD&A is asking the Court to hold a public hearing on the evidence behind these accusations and, after hearing the evidence, to expunge the record.

“These filings against Beau Dietl and his team are yet another example of the ongoing pattern of trickery, deception, and lies by Ford Motor Company,” said Davis. “We will not stand for defamatory comments against good, honest professionals – whether they are deceptively hidden behind the shield of a legal pleading or not.”

This is in reference to case number 15-10628, Ford Motor Company v. Versata Software, Inc. and Richard Bo Dietl et al, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

About Beau Dietl & Associates

Beau Dietl & Associates (“BD&A”) is a premier private investigation company based in New York City with offices in New Jersey, Florida and California. It has affiliates in every large city across the United States through its unique Investigations.com network. BD&A also has partners around the world in almost every country. These contacts were developed from over 30 years of experience in the private investigations and security sector. What differentiates BD&A from others in the investigative industry is one word – experience. Its goal is to provide the most comprehensive and thorough investigations. Prompt turnaround, quality investigations, and continuing communication make Beau Dietl & Associates the benchmark for excellence in security and investigations. Visit www.investigations.com.

Contact:
Eleanor McManus
emcmanus@levick.com
(202) 973-5337 office
(202) 460-1451 cell

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Detroit News

Bo Dietl has a beef with Ford Motor Co.

The television personality, former New York detective and private investigator who was recently a pitchman for Arby’s roast beef sandwiches, told The Detroit News on Tuesday he plans to file a lawsuit against the Dearborn automaker after he alleges Ford slandered his investigative company in an ongoing lawsuit against a Texas-based software company.

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