US fed­eral jury fines TCS $940m in trade se­crets ‘steal­ing’ law­suit

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Yash­want Raj and Ram­surya Mami­denna ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

WASH­ING­TON/MUM­BAI: A United States fed­eral jury fined In­dia’s largest soft­ware ex­porter Tata Con­sul­tancy Ser­vices (TCS) Rs6,200 crore ($940 mil­lion) on Fri­day for what it said was steal­ing trade se­crets owned by com­pet­ing Amer­i­can firm Epic Sys­tems.

TCS de­nied the charge, say­ing it did not mis­use or de­rive any ben­e­fit from al­leged down­load­ing of Epic Sys­tem’s soft­ware. The In­dian firm said it will de­fend its po­si­tion “vig­or­ously in ap­peals to higher courts”.

The jury de­ci­sion in a Wis­con­sin court against TCS and its sub­sidiary Tata Amer­ica In­ter­na­tional Corp is yet an­other hur­dle for the $109 bil­lion Tata Group, grap­pling with a probe into fraud charges against its Bri­tish steel com­pany, Tata Steel UK.

This comes days af­ter the con­glom­er­ate said it plans to sell Tata Steel UK due to pro­longed losses.

The de­ci­sion is also likely to hurt the Tata brand that was ranked as In­dia’s lead­ing and the world’s 65th most valu­able in 2015 by Forbes.

“In the short term, the in­dict­ment can im­pact out­sourc­ing as com­pa­nies will now be re­luc­tant to share trade se­crets. This needs to be treated as a wake-up call for In­dian com­pa­nies to im­ple­ment strin­gent com­pli­ance norms,” said Pawan Dug­gal, cy­ber law ex­pert and ad­vo­cate, Supreme Court.

CON­TIN­UED ON P10

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