Cases & Deals

Goodyear defeats trade secrets case involving self-inflating tire technology

Client(s) Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Jones Day successfully represented Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company ("Goodyear") and its employees accused by a Czech Republic citizen and his companies of misappropriating trade secrets relating to self-inflating tire technology and incorporating the technology into several U.S. patents. Plaintiffs asserted over 20 causes of action in their August 2015 complaint, but a Jones Day team successfully obtained dismissal, with prejudice, of all of them. After the Court denied reconsideration, Plaintiffs appealed to the Federal Circuit, which remanded-in-part in 2018. After remand, only four causes of action remained at issue. In September 2022, the court held a jury trial on Plaintiffs' trade secret misappropriation claim. Plaintiffs sought up to $246 million in compensatory damages plus almost $750 million in punitive damages. At the close of Plaintiff's evidence, the court granted Goodyear's Rule 50(a) Judgment as a Matter of Law ("JMOL") motion and dismissed Plaintiffs’ claim as to five of the remaining 17 alleged trade secrets. The jury found in favor of Goodyear on seven of the remaining 12 alleged trade secrets and that they misappropriated five trade secrets. The jury awarded $2.8 million in compensatory damages and $61.2 million in punitive damages against Goodyear. In October 2022, Goodyear moved for Rule 50(b) JMOL on the jury's finding of misappropriation as to the five remaining trade secrets and to remit the punitive damages award to no more than three times the compensatory award, pursuant to the Ohio Uniform Trade Secrets Act's cap on punitive damages. On March 31, 2023, the court granted Goodyear's post-trial motion in its entirety, vacating the jury's verdict in all respects, and granting judgment to Goodyear on Plaintiffs' inventorship claims, a total victory for Goodyear and its employees.

Coda Development, Coda Innovations, and Frantisek Hrabal v. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Robert Benedict, Case No. 5:15-cv-01572 (N.D. Ohio) (Judge Lioi)