Earlier this week, a Virginia jury awarded software program program agency Appian Corp. higher than $2 billion in damages after discovering that competitor software program program agency Pegasystems Inc. had misappropriated its commerce secrets and techniques and methods. The grievance alleged that Pegasystems engaged in firm espionage and commerce secrets and techniques and methods theft in an effort to raised compete with Appian. Pegasystems employed Youyong Zou, an employee of a authorities contractor and former developer for Appian. In commerce for value, Zou provided Pegasystems with copies of Appian’s confidential software program program and documentation in violation of confidentiality restrictions that barred him from sharing Appian’s commerce secrets and techniques and methods. In 2020, Appian filed go properly with in direction of every Pegasystems and Zou.
In the middle of the seven-week jury trial, counsel for Appian argued that Pegasystems utilized Appian’s commerce secrets and techniques and methods to boost the comfort of use, social capabilities, and mobile capabilities of the Pegasystems platform. Pegasystems’ Founder and CEO examined that it was inappropriate for Pegasystems to have employed Zou and that Zou had engaged in unauthorized actions. Counsel for Appian mentioned in closing arguments that Pegasystems had engaged in “shady and boastful” conduct by using fake identities to understand entry to Appian’s agency knowledge and trial variations of Appian’s software program program. In his private closing arguments, counsel for Pegasystems mentioned that Appian purportedly filed go properly with with a objective to compensate for misplaced earnings after failing to compete with Pegasystems’ superior product.
The Fairfax County Circuit Courtroom jury found that every defendants had misappropriated Appian’s commerce secrets and techniques and methods. Nonetheless, the jury awarded Appian $2,036,860,045 in damages in direction of Pegasystems and solely $5,000 in damages in direction of Youyong Zou after discovering that solely Pegasystems had engaged in willful and malicious misappropriation. In addition to, the jury found that Pegasystems had engaged in computer fraud in violation of Virginia’s Computer Crimes Act and was awarded Appian $1 in damages in direction of Pegasystems.
Pegasystems says it is considering an attraction for what’s estimated to be an important damages award in Virginia state courtroom docket historic previous. This case is one we’re going to monitor rigorously as a result of the appeals course of unfolds.