A federal choose in Detroit on Monday threw out a jury verdict ordering Ford Motor Co. to pay Versata Software Inc $104.6 million for breaching a 2004 licensing contract and misappropriating commerce secrets and techniques.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman mentioned that whereas Versata Software, which licensed software program to Ford from 1998 to 2015, supplied enough proof of a contract breach, it didn’t supply proof to let jurors calculate damages precisely.
He additionally mentioned jurors had no foundation to find out how lengthy Ford would have wanted to develop three commerce secrets and techniques it allegedly stole, and that this additionally required voiding the damages award.
Leitman ordered Ford to pay Versata $3 for breach of contract.
Versata sued Ford after accusing the automaker of copying its software program as a result of it was bored with paying licensing charges, and after Ford rejected a suggestion in 2014 to license its main software program for $17 million a yr.
“Overturning a jury verdict is difficult by design,” Leitman mentioned in a 51-page resolution.
“But here,” he added, “the lack of evidence presented by Versata forced the jury to rest its damages awards on nothing more than speculation. For that reason the damages awards cannot stand.”
Lawyers for Versata didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. Ford didn’t instantly reply to an analogous request.
The $104.6 million award was about 85 p.c of what Austin, Texas-based Versata had sought.
Jurors deliberated for 2 days earlier than holding Ford liable final Oct. 27, following a 15-day trial.
The case is Versata Software Inc et al v Ford Motor Co, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, No. 15-10628.