California residents might be interested to learn about the outcome of a patent infringement case involving Ford Motor Company. On March 27, Ford announced that a U.S. jury had ruled in its favor after the company was sued for allegedly violating four patents. Further, the Tacoma, Washington, jury found that the plaintiff had stolen Ford's trade secrets.
The plaintiff, a technology company called Eagle Harbor Holdings, had originally sought $240 million from Ford in its lawsuit. Eagle Harbor Holdings sued Ford in 2011, and the case went to trial on March 10, 2015. According to Eagle Harbor Holdings, it held patents to some of the technology that was recently introduced in Ford vehicles. The technology included assisted parking controls and the Sync dashboard communication system.
After Eagle Harbor Holdings sued Ford for stealing its intellectual property, Ford countersued the company and claimed that it was the victim of intellectual property theft. Ford claimed that though Eagle Harbor Holdings had originally been interested in developing products for Ford, the company had abandoned the project. Ford says that Eagle Harbor Holdings went on to secure patents after obtaining secret documents from Ford.
A company's intellectual property can be one of its most valuable assets. A lawyer may be able to help a company ensure that this asset is well protected before an infringement takes place. If the owner of a company believes that intellectual property has been stolen and profited from, a lawyer may be able to help them to seek financial compensation and other remedies.
Source: Reuters, "UPDATE 1-Ford Motor says U.S. jury finds it did not infringe tech patents," Andrew Chung, March 27, 2015