Morningstar settles software piracy case

Agreement reached with Business Logic Corp., which alleged research firm had stolen its product

By Joyce Hanson

Jul 7, 2014 @ 12:46 pm (Updated 4:43 pm) EST

Morningstar, Ibbotson, software, intellectual property

On the eve of going to trial, Morningstar Inc. has reached a preliminary settlement in an intellectual property lawsuit brought by Business Logic Corp., a 401(k) managed accounts software company.

A trial that had been scheduled to start Monday in Chicago to determine if Morningstar illegally replicated software owned by Business Logic has been called off.

Business Logic in 2009 filed a lawsuit against Morningstar for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. It requested compensatory damages of $64.3 million.

A firm with 25 employees and now part of NextCapital Group Inc., Business Logic claimed that Morningstar and Ibbotson Associates Inc., a Morningstar company, misappropriated Business Logic's trade secrets over the course of two and a half years, starting in 2007.

Morningstar spokeswoman Margaret Kirch Cohen confirmed in an e-mail that the two companies had reached an agreement and that there will be no trial.

"Morningstar and Business Logic have agreed to a preliminary settlement," NextCapital general counsel and chief operating officer Bill Patterson said in a statement.