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Trade secret theft lawsuit just one filed against Ford

Trade secrets and ownership of unique products and services can be crucial to the success of any business. These are the things that set one company apart from the competition. Business owners across Orlando know this and often go to great lengths to make sure they have confidentiality agreements, patents, copyrights and trademarks in place.

However, legally establishing privacy expectations and/or ownership is only half the battle. Making sure no one else violates these agreements for as long as they are in place is the other half. In order to do this, it can be necessary to take legal action against any parties that use or attempt to use protected materials without permission.

This is the situation facing car maker Ford and Versata, a software company.

According to reports, Versata developed software that measured compatibility of the parts that were to be used in planned vehicles. It streamlined the product development process and has been used by multiple car manufacturing companies, including Ford.

However, when the time came for Versata and Ford to renegotiate a contract extension, the two sides could not come to an agreement and the relationship ended in 2014. 

After that, according to Versata, Ford reverse-engineered the software and then patented it. The company claims Ford stole intellectual property from Versata in order to make its product. Ford denies this allegation and argues that Versata is only trying to retaliate against the car maker.

Since the relationship between Ford and Versata ended, multiple lawsuits have been filed in relation to the dispute. Most recently, Ford was named in a defamation lawsuit filed by a private detectives working to investigate Ford on behalf of Versata.

It will be interesting to see how this situation is ultimately resolved. It will likely take quite some time for that to happen, considering the many lawsuits that are involved. 

Protecting material from being unlawfully used by other companies can be crucial for companies to protect themselves. Unfortunately, too many people get intimidated or overwhelmed by the legal process and fail to act or they accept a settlement that may not be in their best interests.

This is why it can be so crucial for people in a similar situation to discuss their options with an attorney before agreeing to or signing anything. Legal guidance can help people avoid additional disputes and costly mistakes.

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