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Law360, New York (May 8, 2015, 3:52 PM ET) — Software company Versata filed a suit against the Ford Motor Co. in Texas federal court on Thursday, claiming the auto company stole its patented automotive configuration manager software and has used the patents to develop its own system.

Ford had an $8.45 million per year licensing deal to use Versata’s software for 17 years but didn’t renew the license once it had developed and patented its own configuration manager software by reverse-engineering Versata’s software and using Versata’s trade secrets, the suit says.

“Despite achieving hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings from its use of Versata’s software, Ford has decided that it would be cheaper to steal this technology than to pay for it,” the suit says. “Ford did not stop using Versata software; it just stopped paying for it.”

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