Caterpillar Hit For Scooping Trade Secrets

(Peoria, IL) — Attorneys for Peoria-based Caterpillar say they may appeal the verdict of a jury that ordered the company to pay about 74-million-dollars for stealing trade secrets from one of its suppliers. After an eight-week trial in Chicago, the jury found Caterpillar guilty Friday of stealing the design of a coupler that’s used to attach large scoops to excavators and other heavy equipment. The coupler’s design is the intellectual property of an English company called Miller UK Ltd., and Caterpillar was their largest customer until Caterpillar announced in 2008 that it was dropping Miller’s coupler in favor of one Caterpillar said it designed itself.