Cases & Deals

Experian prevails on summary judgment in trade secret and breach of contract dispute over development of loss forecast model

Clients Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

Jones Day successfully defended Experian Information Solutions, Inc. against claims of trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract asserted by Weiss Residential Research LLC. The case arose out of a series of agreements in which Experian agreed to license Weiss' property valuation data to develop a Current Expected Credit Loss ("CECL") model and other potential products. Despite attempting to do so for over a year, Experian was never able to develop any products using Weiss' data. Nor was it able to make any progress developing a CECL modeling sample from Experian data and Weiss data. Experian therefore elected to not renew its license of Weiss data and terminated the parties' relationship. In response, Weiss claimed that Experian fraudulently misappropriated its data and purported data matching "know-how." Although Weiss conceded that Experian had paid all required fees under the parties' agreements, it attempted to evade the parties' agreed-upon loss profits waiver and damages cap by claiming that Experian falsely promised an ownership interest and revenue share in the CECL model.

On September 30, 2021, the Court granted Experian's motion for summary judgment, finding that no evidence in the record suggested that Experian made a representation about ownership or revenue that could replace agreed-upon terms in the parties' written instruments, let alone a misrepresentation upon which Weiss could reasonably rely. The Court further confirmed what Experian had maintained all along: "In total, the record reveals that [Weiss] provided data and services in accordance with its bargained-for duty to do so, not because of a fraudulent scheme to misappropriate [Weiss'] trade secrets or mislead [Weiss] through fraud." Accordingly, the Court granted Experian summary judgment.

Weiss Residential Research LLC v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., No. 8:20-cv-00861-MCS-DFM (C.D. Cal.)