Two major claim management software providers in theproperty/casualty insurance segment have become entangled in alegal dispute involving technology patents.

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Accenture filed a patent infringement suit against Guidewire inlate December, alleging that Guidewire misappropriated tradesecrets relating to its claim management software, Accenture ClaimComponents Solution. In the suit, which was filed in U.S DistrictCourt for the District of Delaware, Accenture specifically saidGuidewire infringed on secrets relating to “the design, coding, andimplementation of the claim management technology Accenturedeveloped and patented, ” in regards to Guidewire's ClaimCentertechnology.

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The complaint also said that Guidewire “willfully anddeliberately developed, manufactured, used and sold, or offered forsale, computer software and services used for insurance claimsmanagement,” which the company said was covered under patents itowned. The suit also claims that Guidewire obtained and used orintends to use Accenture trade secrets without authorization indesigning, developing, manufacturing and selling claims managementsoftware and services to assist it in its ongoing efforts tounfairly compete against Accenture in the claim managementmarket.

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Shortly after the complaint was filed, Guidewire denied theallegations, saying that they viewed the lawsuit as nothing but aploy from a business competitor.

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“We can assure [our customers and the industry] that we have notmisappropriated any Accenture trade secrets and we are confidentthat we have not infringed on Accenture's patent,” said JohnRaguin, chief executive officer, Guidewire Software. “We view theseallegations as a tactic intended to disrupt our business.

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