Ally Financial Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Chrysler Capital, accusing the joint venture of Santander Consumer USA Inc. and Chrysler Group of infringing a copyright on loan forms to avoid a $150 million accounting penalty. Santander Consumer USA Inc. is facing claims of copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Ally has asked a federal court in Detroit to prevent Chrysler Capital from "imitating, copying or making use of" the copyrighted forms. Ally said in the complaint filed in federal court in Detroit that Santander "elected to take a short cut rather than do the hard work that was required to develop the comprehensive, foundational auto finance platform needed to service the Chrysler dealerships and consumers on the scale contemplated by, and contracted with, Chrysler.
"According to Ally, a former employee employed by Santander "took several proprietary documents when he left Ally," including its "Retail Procedures Manual." Chrysler Capital commenced operations on May 1, financing car and light-truck purchases and providing dealers with wholesale loans for buying vehicles from Chrysler, who allowed its agreement with Ally to expire at the end of April.