Versata Software, Inc. v. Ford Motor Company

MPJ served as co-lead counsel in Versata’s $105 million jury verdict for trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract against Ford Motor Company in Detroit. Our lawyers handled the key depositions, summary judgment motions, pretrial motions, and liability analysis that led to this successful win. At trial, we presented Versata’s key witnesses on liability, breaking down complex technical evidence in a manner that the lay Detroit jury could understand. Our cross-examinations of Ford’s corporate representative and technical expert blew holes in Ford’s defense. We proved to a jury in Ford’s hometown that Ford copied valuable software technology from Versata and used that technology to save millions of dollars in warranty, recall, and vehicle design costs.  The jury ultimately found that Ford copied, misused, and reverse engineered Versata’s software after a fifteen-year business relationship.  The verdict was recognized as one of the top verdicts of 2022 in the Texas Lawbook and Houston ChronicleRead more about this major victory here.

Ford Motor Co. v. Versata Software, Inc.; Case No. 15-10628MFL-EAS; In the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Huntsman International LLC v. D.S. Brown Company

We successfully defended Huntsman against products liability litigation filed by Ohio-based specialty concrete company D.S. Brown.  D.S. Brown filed suit against Huntsman in a Massachusetts federal court, alleging that Huntsman’s chemical products caused widespread expansion joint failures on a major bridge construction project in Springfield. Our firm filed a motion to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds and prevailed.  We used creative procedural maneuvers to force D.S. Brown to fight in Texas state court, two thousand miles from its chosen forum, and our discovery strategy showed that Huntsman was not liable. Before the motion to dismiss was granted, we filed a declaratory judgment action in Texas seeking a declaration of non-liability and attorney’s fees under the Texas Declaratory Judgment Act. Then, we used Texas’s expansive and fast discovery process to develop evidence that Huntsman’s products performed as designed and other factors were responsible for the expansion joint failures. We deposed D.S. Brown’s witnesses and obtained key admissions regarding the cause of the failures. The case settled on the eve of trial on extremely favorable terms to Huntsman.

Huntsman International LLC v. D.S. Brown Company; Cause Number 19-11-14861; In the County Court at Law Number 2, Montgomery County, Texas

Huntsman Building Solutions (USA) LLC v. J.K. Welding

We successfully represented Huntsman in prosecuting claims against a welding contractor that had damaged a piping system inside a Houston area chemical facility, causing significant damage.  We filed suit against the contractor, developed the evidence of liability, and settled the case on favorable terms for Huntsman.

Core Laboratories

We have represented the Netherlands-headquartered petroleum services and testing company, Core Laboratories, in multiple litigation matters involving products liability claims, patent infringement claims, and personal injury cases. MPJ attorneys have successfully resolved multiple matters for Core Laboratories.  Examples include:

  • Indiana Gas Company, Inc. d/b/a Vectren v. Owen Oil Tools, L.P.; Civ. Case No. 1:21-CV-02229; In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.  We successfully defended Core Laboratory’s subsidiary Owen Oil Tools in litigation filed by Centerpoint/Vectren in connection with the failure of a gas storage well in Indiana allegedly because of a casing patch.  After our efforts revealed how the parties at the well site could have prevented the alleged damage, how the claims were inflated and the well’s history of disrepair, we obtained a favorable settlement for Owen.
  • Maynard Johnson v. Hilcorp Ventures, Inc.; Case No. 2020-41863; In the 11th District Court of Harris County, Texas.  We are currently defending Hilcorp and its affiliates in products liability and premises liability litigation.  Our firm was chosen as defense counsel by Core Laboratories, who conducts business with Hilcorp.
  • Core Laboratories L.P. v. Stratum Reservoir, LLC; Civ. Action No. 4 :20-cv-01384; In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  We successfully represented Core Laboratories in patent infringement litigation related to offshore safety equipment.

Peak Supplier v. Peak Completions

We negotiated a complete walkaway for Peak Completions in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by a billion-dollar international raw materials supplier, seeking over $12 million in damages.  The lawsuit was brought after Peak’s former president and key witness was killed in an airplane accident, a tragedy severely affecting the company.  The supplier’s attempt to use his death to rewrite the parties’ sales history left Peak at a severe disadvantage without his key testimony.  Nevertheless, we used strategic discovery and forensic data to show the supplier’s invoices forming the basis of its claims were fraudulent.  We contradicted the testimony of the supplier’s key witnesses to support Peak’s position.  On the eve of hearings on Peak’s summary judgment and spoliation motions,, the supplier dismissed its claims with Peak paying nothing.

Peak Completions v. its Auditors

We initiated an arbitration before the AAA for Peak Completions against an accounting and auditing firm (whose identity is not disclosed for confidentiality reasons) for their failure to properly investigate and report review years of financial records pointing to fraudulent activity.  As a result, Peak incurred significant losses. One of the many obstacles we faced were past settlements, which the defendant argued prevented Peak from recovering its damages.  We created and implemented a strategy that addressed these issues but preserved Peak’s damage claims. After a hard-fought arbitration process, we settled the matter was settled favorably for Peak. The arbitration and the result are confidential.

Peak Completions v. Estate of Ray Hofman

We represented Peak Completions in a sensitive and emotionally charged matter relating to financial irregularities that were discovered after the tragic accidental death of one of the owners and founders of Peak Completions.  Under these challenging circumstances, we crafted a strategy which allowed Peak to pursue its interests to recover its losses while navigating the public perception and the emotional and personal obstacles presented by the individuals involved.  We reviewed thousands of documents and records and forensic data to gather the evidence needed to support the claims and used creative allegations to negotiate the settlement that Peak wanted.

Creighton v. VIP Med Surg Ventures, et al

We successfully represented a co-owner of Med-Surg Ventures, a medical complex near The Woodlands, Texas, in litigation filed by business partners over control of the facility.  The case involved claims and counterclaims for fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, breaches of contract, and other issues related to the financial collapse of Med-Surg Ventures.  We turned the tables on the parties who filed the litigation through successful depositions, including one deposition in which we proved that one of the opposing parties had filed false medical complaints against our client and forged signatures on documents to blame our client for her own actions.  Following these depositions, we litigated this case to a successful settlement for our client — and obtained insurance coverage for most of the legal fees and other costs associated with the litigation.  The plaintiffs recovered nothing on their claims and had to eat their legal fees.

Cause No. 19-03-03975; Cooper Collins, Brandon Belanger, and CSB Contractors, Inc. v. Marion Fawn Creighton; In the 284th Judicial District Court of Montgomery County, Texas –and- (Former) Cause No. 19-04-04618; Marion Fawn Creighton v. Cooper Collins, Brandon Belanger, Julie McKay-Smart, VIP Med Surg Ventures, LLC, and 3083 Imaging, LLC; In the 284th Judicial District Court of Montgomery County, Texas

Proske v. Templar Tactical

We defended a group of investors in a national firearms company against a lawsuit brought by the company’s founder. Instead of playing defense, we developed creative counterclaims that would permit our clients to extinguish the founder’s interest in the company. Our strategy was a success. The founder voluntarily dismissed his claims in their entirety on the eve of trial and walked away from his investment interest in the company. Our clients won a total victory and did not have to pay a penny in settlement.

Curtis Proske v. Templar Tactical Firearms Corp., et al; Cause Number 19-07-09721; In the 457th Judicial District Court, Montgomery County, Texas

AXTS, Inc. v. F-1 Firearms

We defended F-1 Firearms against patent infringement claims brought by an Oregon-based parts manufacturer.. When our attempts to resolve the claims amicably for a nominal payment were unsuccessful, we conducted an exhaustive investigation that prompted the manufacturer plaintiff to dismiss its claims.  Our firm tracked down undisclosed co-inventors on the plaintiff’s patents, identified prior art that invalidated those patents, and gave the Plaintiff notice under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Procedure. After reviewing the results of our investigation, the plaintiff dismissed its claims.

AXTS, Inc. v. F-1 Firearms, LLC; Cause Number 2021-1069; In the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Packers Plus v. Peak Completions

We represented Peak Completions in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Packers Plus against Peak and two other co-defendants relating to open hole ball drop systems used in fracking oil and gas wells.  At the time the accused technology and systems were fundamental to Peak’s business and the potential damages would have significantly affected Peak’s future operations.  In cooperation with the co-defendants, we pulled from Peak’s extensive institutional knowledge and experience and crafted a strategy which led to the case being dismissed and the patents held unpatentable by the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

Republican Party of Texas v. Houston First Corporation

We represented a major political party in breach of contract litigation against Houston First Corporation arising out of Houston First’s cancelation of the June 2020 convention due to COVID-19 concerns.  The dispute relates to the interpretation of the force majeur clause. Even though the trial court ruled against the Republican Party before MPJ got involved, we won a unanimous decision in favor of the Republican Party on appeal. The case is now back in the trial court and headed to trial, with the Republican Party of Texas able to seek substantial damages.

Republican Party of Texas v. Houston First Corporation; Cause Number 14-20-00744-CV; In the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Houston, Texas

Bristow Group, Inc. v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

We represent Bristow Group, Inc. in litigation over a $29 million helicopter purchase from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.  The litigation relates to Sikorsky’s decision to retain a $11.7 million deposit as alleged liquidated damages for Bristow’s failure to take possession of the aircraft during a downturn in the oilfield services market.  We proved in discovery that Sikorsky sold the aircraft frame to the government of Uzbekistan at a substantial profit, preventing Sikorsky from retaining the deposit.  Motions for summary judgment are pending.

Bristow Group, Inc., et al v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, et al.; Adv. Proc. No. 19-03691; In the Southern District of Texas Bankruptcy Court

Equifax, Inc. v. Versata Software, Inc.

We represented Versata Software in litigation filed by one of its largest customers in a dispute over a software licensing agreement.  The suit was filed in Atlanta, Georgia, where Equifax is headquartered.  We believed it was important for Versata to take the offensive.  Instead of narrowly focusing on the contract, we developed a counterclaim for copyright infringement, which allows the claimant to recover unjust enrichment damages.  We focused on proving how much money Equifax had saved by deploying Versata’s software and argued that Equifax’s ongoing use of the software exposed it to millions of dollars in potential disgorgement.  After we deposed Equifax’s experts and presented Versata’s experts for depositions, the case settled with a multi-million dollar payment and favorable terms for Versata.

Equifax Inc. v. Versata, Inc; C.A. No. 1:13-CV-00213-AT; In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division

Versata Software patent matters

We have represented Versata Software in numerous patent matters which settled on favorable terms.  These patents involved complex software technologies of various kinds.  We have also handled proceedings before the PTAB, including covered business method reviews and inter partes reexaminations.  Our experience includes Section 101 issues related to software patents, with both trial court litigation and PTAB reviews on Section 101 grounds.

F-1 Consulting v. Accudata Systems, Inc.

We won an $11.4 million jury verdict for business disparagement and tortious interference for F-1 Consulting against Accudata Systems.  The case involved claims that Accudata, a competitor of F-1, had falsely accused F-1 of violating federal tax laws in an effort to disrupt its multi-million dollar commercial relationship with BG Group.  Before and during trial, Accudata filed counterclaims and demanded a settlement in which F-1 paid money to Accudata.  At trial, through the cross-examination of Accudata’s president and chief operating officer, we proved actual malice and intent to destroy the business relationship.  The jury awarded actual and punitive damages and the case settled favorably after verdict.

Function One Consulting Group L.L.C. v. Accudata Systems Inc., et al., No. 2009-79590, in Harris County’s 113th Civil District Court.

Frankenmuth v. Huntsman Building Solutions (USA) LLC

We are defending HBS in a multi-party product liability suit filed in Indiana in a subrogation claim arising from a fire significantly damaging a house where HBS’ spray foam insulation was applied.

Case No. 22-7200-NZ; Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company, as subrogee of Laura and Steven Meyer v. Bier, Inc. d/b/a ABC Contracting, Kiilunen Manufacturing Group, Inc. d/b/a Superior Polymer Products, Huntsman Building Solutions, LLC; In the 12th Circuit Court of Baraga, Michigan