A jury recently ordered Amrock, Inc., a large U.S. title insurance and valuation firm affiliated with Quicken Loans, to pay $706 million to a housing data analytics firm from whom it allegedly stole trade secrets.
Amrock had contracted with HouseCanary to create software for appraisal and valuation services. Under the contract, Amrock would pay HouseCanary five million dollars per year.
However, in 2016, Amrock served HouseCanary with a fraud suit at a trade show to get out of the contract. Amrock alleged the software created by HouseCanary was "completely unusable" and was not what was expected under the contract.
However, the jury rejected Amrock's allegations that the software was "unusable" and instead found that Amrock intended to steal HouseCanary's proprietary data and technology to create competing software. According to HouseCanary, Amrock tried to steal its "highly valuable proprietary software, algorithms, models, data, reports, forms, data sources, know how, techniques, and methods" under "the guise of [a] licensing and business partnership."
The jury found Amrock violated a strict non-disclosure agreement and the 2015 master licensing agreement between the two organizations. The jury awarded $706 million in damages to HouseCanary. "Quicken Loans affiliate's lawsuit backfires as Texas jury awards $706 million verdict" www.dallasnews.com (Mar. 19, 2017).