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