By on June 5, 2015


Texas software company Versata is suing former partner Ford over claims the automaker stole code from its proprietary technology.

The lawsuit, presented before a U.S. District Court judge in Texas and filed May 7, says Ford received a patent in 2014 for internally developed software meant to identify incompatible parts across a million vehicle configurations to avoid recall issues, Automotive News reports. The company goes on to claim said patent was based upon code for its own software, which was used by the automaker between 1998 and 2014 under an agreement netting Versata $8.45 million per year, and was denied a request to examine the new system in violation of the agreement.

Versata is seeking an injunction to block Ford from using the latter’s so-called Automotive Configuration Manager, and gives the automaker until June 29 to respond.

Ford denies the allegations, proclaiming the new software was developed in 2010 after Versata declared its technology “obsolete,” adding its replacement handles vehicle configuration “very differently, and more efficiently” compared to Versata’s software. The automaker also is seeking to dismiss or transfer the case out of Texas to Michigan.

[Photo credit: Ford]

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12 Comments on “Versata Sues Ford Over IP Theft Linked To Configuration Software...”

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The pickup in the photo would look at lot nicer without the little dick, big rig grilles. Overly animated.

    I suppose until Ford can learn how to fold and work with aluminium most bends will be straight.

    Maybe that Nesbitt guy was moonlighting and designed the front end of this F-150.

    How many acres of grille do you require for a 2.7 litre engine?

    • 0 avatar

      One, this article is about software. The Raptor photo is only there as a placeholder. Two, it’s not about aluminum either (never mind that they’ve been “working with” it since the ’90s). Three, please don’t make crude remarks about what people drive. Such comments don’t further a constructive discourse and only serve to make the speaker look bad. Four, if somebody could provide me with the measurements of the Raptor grille, I could answer that question.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Sorry, I’m par venu.

        So, Ford got caught stealing or adapting some software.

        As for my views on the aesthetics of the front end, well, it’s my view.

        I do also think I’m correct in relation to the many straight lines on the pickup. It makes it easier for Ford to work with a “new” material.

        As for your opinion, it’s just that, your opinion.

        Thank you very much for your input.

        • 0 avatar
          Bill Wade

          Your post was nothing but trolling and had zero to do with the topic at hand.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Bill Wade,
            It has nothing to do with trolling.

            In any article or magazine cover what is the first thing you observe?

            A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s hard to use a picture or schematic with And, Nand and Nor gates, or a dude punching out software. Boring.

            What has a non-existent Raptor got to do with this article? Other than it’s a Ford.

            I’m commenting on the picture, which you find hard to believe is attached to this article regarding software.

            As for Drzhivago138, he’s a bit stiff.

          • 0 avatar

            You can argue all you want, Al, the fact remains that your post was clearly trolling, and he was right to call you out for it. Im guessing you were expecting some positive reaction from the “big truck = little penis” crowd, but your comments were obnoxious and uncalled for.

            Aside from implying that Ford is somehow lacking in its use of aluminum (when the opposite is true), I love how you assume Ford “got caught” stealing some IP from the company bringing the suit. Just because someone sues over something doesnt automaticly mean the one being sued is guilty of anything (especially true in the US). The burdon of proof lies with the plaintif, and if Ford can show the program theyre using is in fact different, then its over with.

          • 0 avatar

            Al you know as well as any other regular reader that your post was trolling and a very lame job at that.

            There is no proof that Ford stole IP only an allegation at this point from a company that lost it’s golden goose. If you were to actually read the article it says the company earned $8.45 million per year from Ford and loosing that contract obviously hurt their profitability significantly. So it is highly likely this is a revenge/nuisance suit. They may have one of two goals. #1 Milk a few final dollars out of Ford in an attempt to salvage their business, likely with the hope that Ford would offer to settle out of court to make them shut up. #2 Just piss off Ford in an attempt to extract revenge for “destroying their company”.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            “Just because someone sues over something doesnt automaticly mean the one being sued is guilty of anything”

            Exactly. Suing is a legitimate business practice, even if the case is not solid.

            Public companies will almost always settle out of court even if they think they can win the case. It’s better to pay a known amount than to gamble on a jury trial, especially if you will be portrayed as the big evil company stealing from a small business. Juries don’t understand computer code, but they do understand getting f***’d over by bullies.

  • avatar

    @Big Al – I’m more inclined to agree with the other guys but since you went there, the Raptor grill/snout(old or next gen) looks better than anything else in the Ford lineup.

    Back on topic, intellectual property can be hard to prove.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I do think you are a little harsh with your assessment of my comment.

      You do know this is how I usually describe the front end of pickups. I’m even harsher with Ram fugly front end.

      As for the article, the first part of the article you pay attention to is the picture and not the text in the title. The picture moves it’s focus to the grille. The worst part of the vehicle, as it does have an acceptable stance. I do like that colour Ford uses as well.

      My comment is in relation to the picture. This Raptor doesn’t exist yet.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    TTAC Staff,
    Here is an interesting, industry related story.

    Makes for some interesting reading to where and how the US tax dollar is and can be used.

    Here’s an excerpt from the article with the link;

    “Here is a bloke who has lived through the merger and demerger, has worked through 13,000 jobs cuts in the US, has seen his colleagues tighten their belts or lose their jobs during the bankruptcy crisis, and here in Australia we have been spending like drunken sailors, having $1 million Christmas parties and buying Louis Vuitton bags for staff.

    “Think about it. We have never really made a dollar here in Australia. We have been living off the money of the parent company to build a presence, build market share.

    “And for a long period of time that money was coming from US taxpayers as part of the bail-out. I can’t even imagine what the reaction is back in Michigan. Someone will have popped a fuse about this.”

    The link;

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