Earlier this week, a Virginia jury awarded software program firm Appian Corp. greater than $2 billion in damages after discovering that competitor software program firm Pegasystems Inc. had misappropriated its commerce secrets and techniques. The criticism alleged that Pegasystems engaged in company espionage and commerce secrets and techniques theft in an effort to higher compete with Appian. Pegasystems employed Youyong Zou, an worker of a authorities contractor and former developer for Appian. In alternate for cost, Zou supplied Pegasystems with copies of Appian’s confidential software program and documentation in violation of confidentiality restrictions that barred him from sharing Appian’s commerce secrets and techniques. In 2020, Appian filed go well with in opposition to each Pegasystems and Zou.
In the course of the seven-week jury trial, counsel for Appian argued that Pegasystems utilized Appian’s commerce secrets and techniques to enhance the benefit of use, social capabilities, and cell 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 said in closing arguments that Pegasystems had engaged in “shady and smug” conduct by utilizing faux identities to achieve entry to Appian’s firm info and trial variations of Appian’s software program. In his personal closing arguments, counsel for Pegasystems said that Appian purportedly filed go well with so as to compensate for misplaced earnings after failing to compete with Pegasystems’ superior product.
The Fairfax County Circuit Courtroom jury discovered that each defendants had misappropriated Appian’s commerce secrets and techniques. Nevertheless, the jury awarded Appian $2,036,860,045 in damages in opposition to Pegasystems and solely $5,000 in damages in opposition to Youyong Zou after discovering that solely Pegasystems had engaged in willful and malicious misappropriation. As well as, the jury discovered that Pegasystems had engaged in pc fraud in violation of Virginia’s Laptop Crimes Act and was awarded Appian $1 in damages in opposition to Pegasystems.
Pegasystems says it’s contemplating an attraction for what’s estimated to be the most important damages award in Virginia state court docket historical past. This case is one we’ll monitor intently because the appeals course of unfolds.