Morningstar to pay $61M to settle Business Logic trade secrets suit

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Morningstar Inc. will pay $61 million to settle an intellectual property lawsuit filed by Business Logic Holding Corp.

Business Logic, a financial software company, claimed Morningstar and its subsidiary Ibbotson Associates violated a contract covering the use of its software for managing individuals’ 401(k) retirement savings accounts. Morningstar licensed the software code as part of the settlement announced Thursday by the two Chicago-based companies.

“We’re pleased to settle this long-standing litigation with Business Logic,” Morningstar chairman and CEO Joe Mansueto said in a news release. “Although it’s a meaningful payment, it removes the risk, distraction and uncertainty posed by the lawsuit.”

Business Logic sued in 2009 claiming breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. Ibbotson had used Business Logic’s software under contract until Ibbotson developed its own software. Morningstar acquired Ibbotson in 2006.

“This settlement points to the significant value of our software back then. We’ve continued to expand and improve our software, and that continues forward as NextCapital,” said John Patterson, CEO of NextCapital and Business Logic.

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