Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Faurecia ordered to pay $10M in breach of confidentiality

By Ryan Beene Canadian auto parts supplier Multimatic Inc. was awarded nearly $10 million by the U.S. District Court in Detroit for a breach-of-confidentiality lawsuit that the company brought against Faurecia Interior Systems U.S.A. Inc. in 2005.

Multimatic had sought $40 million in damages and was represented by Young & Susser P.C. of Southfield.

“In an era in which technology and intellectual property are increasingly treated as commodities, this verdict is truly a vindication for those companies that value innovation and the right to protect one’s competitive advantage,” Steven Susser, a shareholder of the firm, said in a statement.The two companies signed a confidentiality agreement in February 2004 under which the French parts supplier would protect Multimatic’s design and technology for a proprietary crossbeam. Faurecia wanted to use the crossbeam to mount instrument panels in Chrysler’s JS program, the code name for the replacement for the Chrysler Sebring/Dodge Stratus cars.

In April 2005, Faurecia violated the confidentiality agreement when it shopped for bids to manufacture Multimatic’s crossbeam design from Multimatic competitors.

Multimatic, of Markham, Ontario, sued in June 2005, and the case went to trial last month.Faurecia North America’s U.S. headquarters is in Auburn Hills.From Automotive News

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