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Ford Motor Co. has filed a lawsuit that accuses a North Carolina equipment supplier of stealing trade secrets, breaching a contract and infringing on the automaker’s trademarks. Ford says it developed the Ford Racing Kinematics Rig to collect and display data from the chassis systems of NASCAR race cars. In a suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Ford said its racing division hired L&H Technologies of Charlotte, N.C., last year to make the device for Ford’s exclusive use, The Detroit News reported. Ford said that under the contract, it gave L&H Technologies technical details and worked with it to develop the device. Ford said it also gave the company components for the devices and loaned it racing cars to test the equipment. Ford said L&H made the units as requested but then began offering the same device to other NASCAR teams, using the Ford logo in its marketing materials. A message seeking comment from L&H Technologies was left before business hours Wednesday. The newspaper said the company did not return its calls seeking comment on the suit. “Ford contracted with L&H Technologies to produce proprietary equipment for Ford Racing,” Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes said. “Ford is taking appropriate steps to protect its trademarks and intellectual property.” Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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