Monday, May 23, 2011, 5/23/2011 11:54:00 AM

Texas Jury Hits Accenture with $95 Million Verdict in Trade Secrets Suit Brought by Wellogix

By Todd
Law360 is reporting that a federal jury in Texas on Friday awarded software company Wellogix Inc. $94.4 million in a contract and trade secrets suit that accused consulting firm Accenture LLP of reneging on a joint marketing deal.

The jury found that Accenture had misappropriated and stolen Wellogix’s trade secrets from May 2006 onward, and said it must pay Wellogix $26.2 million in compensatory damages and $68.2 million in punitive damages.

Wellogix, which makes software to help companies manage their so-called complex services, sued Accenture in 2008 for allegedly ignoring six agreements that created a marketing alliance between the two companies.U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison trimmed the case in April, granting Accenture summary judgment on claims that it breached a fiduciary duty by cutting Wellogix out of a software sale to its client BP PLC, despite an alleged agreement to help Wellogix push its products.

The oil company retained Accenture to help it overhaul its IT system, and despite the agreement, BP and Accenture bought the entire customized software package from Wellogix rival SAP AG, according to Judge Ellison. The theft of trade secrets claim arose from Accenture's alleged use of Wellogix source code in the software package.

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