Versata and its attorneys argue that the company's case is cut and dried.
It centers around proprietary software, known as Automotive Configuration Manager, that Ford had licensed from Versata to help identify incompatible parts in millions of possible vehicle configurations. Versata accuses Ford of having workers with firsthand knowledge about the Versata product copy it so the automaker could stop paying for it. Versata says Ford even used identical terms and phrases from Versata's manual for the Automotive Configuration Manager software.
Ford, soon after the lawsuit was filed, claimed it began developing replacement software in 2010 and that the technology is different from Versata's. "Ford's invention approaches vehicle configuration very differently, and more efficiently, than" Versata's technology, Ford said in a filing.
Versata is seeking at least $180 million in past damages, and it wants Ford to remove the software, which could potentially affect its manufacturing operations.
Versata, from the outset, has taken its complaints public. Its lawyers held a 2015 press conference with an elaborate display of a cutout of Henry Ford standing by a faux brick wall with a large hole in it, representing the internal divide that Versata says Ford breached by having people with knowledge of Versata's software develop the in-house replacement.