Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler.

Cambridge software company Pegasystems lost a lawsuit against a rival on Tuesday and was hit with a $2 billion jury verdict.

Virginia-based Appian had accused Pegasystems of stealing its trade secrets and violating the state’s computer crime law during a seven-week jury trial in the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Va.

Shares of Pegasystems lost 23 percent on Tuesday, while Appian’s shares jumped 27 percent.

Pegasystems did not respond immediately to a request for comment. The company could appeal the verdict.

Pegasystems and Appian both make software that helps companies create their own applications. During the trial, Appian alleged that Pegasystems paid an employee of a government contractor to learn about Appian’s software and pass the information on to its rival.

“We put forward strong evidence that Appian trade secrets were misappropriated by Pegasystems,” Christopher Winters, Appian’s general counsel, said in a statement. “The award of substantial damages to Appian is entirely appropriate given the improper conduct by Pegasystems.”

Appian also alleged that Pegasystems employees used false identities to sign up for trial versions of Appian’s software, including Pegasystems’ founder and CEO Alan Trefler, who used the alias “Albert Skii.”

Aaron Pressman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ampressman.