Jury finds Goodyear guilty of misappropriating trade secrets
On 19 September 2022, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co was found guilty of misappropriating five of 12 alleged trade secrets relating to self-inflating tyres in a case brought by Czech company Coda Development SRO. As a result of the jury’s verdict, Coda was awarded a total of $64 million.
$2.8 million of the total related to compensatory damages and $61.2 million was for punitive damages. However, punitive damages will be limited to $8.4 million under Ohio law, which suggests the actual amount Goodyear will be required to pay will be closer to $11.2 million.
Goodyear representatives questioned the outcome: “We are disappointed with the verdict and will consider all of our options. Goodyear believes that the jury’s finding of misappropriation of 5 of the 12 alleged trade secrets should be overturned. That said, the compensatory damages are far less than the amount Coda sought and the punitive damages award will be limited up to 3 times the compensatory damages.”
Coda first sued Goodyear in 2015 and its most recent complaint was filed in 2019. At the centre of Coda’s case is that Goodyear “misappropriated” Coda CEO Frantisek Hrabal’s technology tyre inflation technology after discussing a potential collaboration for GM’s Chevy Volt in 2009.