News Column

Business Logic Settles Intellectual Property Lawsuit, Morningstar Pays $61 Million in Trade Secrets Case

July 31, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- Investment research and management firm Morningstar, Inc. agreed to pay $61 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Business Logic, a Chicago-based developer of financial software. Business Logic, the parent company of NextCapital, claimed that Morningstar and its subsidiary, Ibbotson Associates, violated a contract and took Business Logic's intellectual property.

This payment is the largest disclosed trade secrets settlement in Illinois history, according to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's Trade Secrets Watch blog post, "Pulling back the veil: Top 10 Disclosed Trade Secret Settlements," published Oct. 16, 2013.

"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 NextCapital and Business Logic.

Dirk Quayle, president of NextCapital, echoed Patterson's sentiment.

"We're eager to provide even more innovative solutions to our clients, helping investors and institutions build and manage world-class investment portfolios," he added.

In 2003, Business Logic provided Ibbotson with software capable of managing individuals' 401(k) retirement accounts. After Morningstar purchased Ibbotson in 2006, Ibbotson started to develop its own software. In 2009, Business Logic sued Ibbotson and Morningstar for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and damages. Business Logic claimed $64.3 million in compensatory damages but entered into a preliminary settlement agreement for $61 million shortly before the trial was set to begin.

Business Logic was represented during the lawsuit by attorneys R. Paul Yetter and Collin J. Cox of YetterColeman, Houston, and Stephen Fardy and Peter G. Skiko of Swanson, Martin & Bell, Chicago.

"We are extremely appreciative of our legal team's hard work and creativity during this process," said Bill Patterson, general counsel and chief operating officer of NextCapital. "This case sets a meaningful precedent for intellectual property protection for innovators nationwide and helps ensure a protected, collaborative environment where Chicago start-ups can thrive."

For more information on privately held company NextCapital and its current product offerings, please visit

Keywords for this news article include: Business Logic, Legal Issues, Software.

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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