India's top IT company Tata Consultancy Services was fined $940 million by a U.S. Federal Court in Wisconsin Friday in a trade secret lawsuit by U.S.-based medical software company Epic Systems. TCS said it would appeal against the verdict in higher courts.
Epic had filed a lawsuit against TCS first in 2014, accusing the Indian company of secretly downloading confidential information for a software it had been hired to help install. Epic also alleged that TCS had “brazenly” stolen trade secrets in order to help rival healthcare software provider Med Mantra, according to case files in the Wisconsin court.
TCS was fined $700 million in punitive damages and has been asked to pay an additional $240 million to Epic Systems Corp. after the jury ruled against TCS on seven claims, including breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and unfair enrichment.
"While TCS respects the legal process, the jury's verdict on liability and damages was unexpected as the company believes they are unsupported by the evidence presented during the trial," the company said in a statement mailed to IANS, an Indian news agency.
"TCS appreciates the trial judge's announcement from the bench that he is almost certain he will reduce the damages award," the statement added.
Epic, a privately held company based in Verona, Wisconsin, had complained that Tata workers, hired as consultants to help a client, Kaiser Permanente in Oregon , downloaded 6,477 documents accounting for 1,687 unique files from Epic’s computers inappropriately. The Indian company’s leadership was aware of the development that had begun in 2012, Epic further alleged.
TCS has engaged in an "elaborate campaign of deception to steal documents, confidential information, trade secrets, and other information and data, with the purpose of utilizing technical expertise developed after years of hard work and investment,” the lawsuit alleged.
However, TCS reportedly refuted the claims and said no benefit was derived. The company – one of the largest Indian IT companies – said that the verdict would not have any impact on its fourth-quarter results set to be announced Monday.