Caterpillar found guilty of stealing trade secrets

A U.S. federal court jury found Caterpillar Inc. guilty of stealing trade secrets from one of its suppliers after an eight-week trial in Chicago.

The jury in U.S. District Court awarded the supplier, Miller UK Ltd., about $74 million of damages Friday.

In a lawsuit filed five years ago, the Cramlington, England-based supplier accused Caterpillar
 of misusing trade secrets obtained from Miller to produce a coupler, used to attach large scoops to excavators and other equipment. Caterpillar denied the accusations.

The suit said Caterpillar took advantage of its leverage as Miller’s largest customer to gain access to its trade secrets and then used them to produce its own couplers rather than buying them from the British firm.

An expanded version of this report appears at

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