Appian announced yesterday it has received a verdict from a jury in the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia, awarding it $2.036 billion in damages from Pegasystems for trade secret misappropriation. The jury also found that Pegasystems violated the Virginia Computer Crimes Act. The jury further found Pegasystems’ misappropriation of Appian’s trade secrets to be willful and malicious. According to Appian, the company has received the largest damages award in Virginia state court history.
During the seven-week trial, Appian presented evidence that Pegasystems hired an employee of a government contractor (the “Contractor”), to provide Pegasystems with access to Appian’s software as a part of an effort to learn how to better compete against Appian. In hiring the Contractor, Pegasystems instructed its third-party contracting service to recruit someone who was not “loyal” to Appian. Appian provided evidence that the Contractor, who worked as a developer in the Appian software under a government contract, violated his employer’s code of conduct and his employer’s agreement with Appian by providing access to an Appian competitor.
The jury’s verdict and the court’s entry of judgment is subject to appeal by Pegasystems. Pegasystems is not required to pay Appian the amount awarded by the jury until all appeals are exhausted, and the judgment is final.
“Appian will never hesitate to defend itself and its intellectual property from competitors where it believes they have acted illegally. I am proud of our legal team for their outstanding work on this case. It was a masterful performance, and the jury’s verdict is the result of their efforts.”Matthew Calkins, CEO, Appian