Caterpillar loses $74.6M verdict over trade secret theft

December 22, 2015

Caterpillar Inc. was ordered by a jury to pay $74.6 million for theft of trade secrets from a British maker of earth-moving equipment.

Miller UK Ltd., a small family-run company, won the damages Friday following a trial in Chicago federal court. Jurors also awarded $1 million to Caterpillar for a counterclaim.

Miller said in its 2010 lawsuit that Caterpillar, its main customer, stole trade secrets and began producing its own products without having to engineer them from scratch. The jury found for Miller on a misappropriation of trade secrets claim and a breach of contract claim, according to Reed Oslan, a lawyer for Miller.

 “We are disappointed by the jury’s verdict,” Rachel Potts, a spokeswoman for Caterpillar, said in an email. “At this point we are considering our next steps in this litigation.”

The case is Miller UK Ltd. v. Caterpillar Inc., 1:10- cv-03770, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).