New Jersey residents may be interested in the outcome of an intellectual property dispute between Morningstar Inc. and Business Logic Holding Corp. According to the terms worked out in the agreement, Morningstar will pay $61 million to Business Logic in exchange for a license to the intellectual property that was previously in dispute.
The business dispute was the result of an alleged breach of contract by Morningstar. The contract was signed in 2003 between Business Logic and Ibbotson Associates, a company that was acquired by Morningstar in 2006. According to the original contract, Ibbotson had been given the right to combine its software with software developed by Business Logic in order to create a retirement plan management platform called Advice by Ibbotson.
When the contract ended in 2009, the Business Logic software was replaced by alternative software allegedly developed by Ibbotson. According to Business Logic, Ibbotson and Morningstar used trade secrets belonging to Business Logic when they developed the new software. Business Logic claimed that the use of this intellectual property was a breach of contract. Business Logic subsequently filed a lawsuit against Morningstar and Ibbotson and both companies contested it, resulting in the eventual settlement.
Intellectual property is a valuable asset to many businesses, and its unauthorized use can be very damaging to a company’s financial prospects. A business owner who believes their intellectual property has been stolen or used beyond the time period outlined in a contract may wish to consult a business law attorney. In some cases, the attorney can help companies to reach an agreement outside of the courtroom that may be more efficient and cost-effective than pursuing litigation.
Source: RTT News, “Morningstar To Pay Business Logic $61 Mln To Settle Dispute“, July 17, 2014