21 July 2014
Reporter: Franki Webb

Morningstar pays $61 Million in trade secrets case

Morningstar has agreed to pay $61 million to settle with Business Logic over alleged trade secret theft.

In 2009, Business Logic sued Ibbotson and Morningstar for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and damages at the Circuit Court of Cook County.

The Chicago-based company argued that a managed retirement account software system that it developed was sold by Morningstar without permission.

Under terms of the agreement, Morningstar has secured a licence to the IP that was at the heart of the dispute.

"This settlement points to the significant value of our software back then. We've continued to expand and improve our software, and that continues forward as NextCapital," said John Patterson, CEO of Business Logic.

In 2013, a judge ruled that Morningstar broke the contract by using confidential Business Logic information, according to the plaintiff, but left the damages up to a jury to decide.

"We're pleased to settle this long-standing litigation with Business Logic,” Morningstar CEO and Chairman Joe Mansueto said in a release.

“Although it's a meaningful payment, it removes the risk, distraction, and uncertainty posed by the lawsuit. We look forward to continuing to invest in and expand our successful retirement offerings."

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