The lawsuit accusing TCS of stealing intellectual property dates back to 2014. Updates on the legal battle have reared their head every now and then. Here’s a quick recap of what transpired between TCS and Epic:
Where the dispute began
TCS was roped in as consultant in the Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center, Portland, to help set up an Epic system. As per the US firm’s version, the TCS employees stole 6,000 pieces of important data containing its system development information by setting up a fake user account. According to the allegations made in the lawsuit, the person behind the fake account disguised himself as hospital staff and did not disclose that he was a consultant.
A jury in 2016 found TCS guilty and awarded Epic Systems damages worth $940 million. A year after the original award, a court in Wisconsin brought the damage amount down to $420 million to comply with an existing legal limit on punitive damages for such matters. Last year, the Wisconsin judge, who initially heard the case and reduced the verdict amount, upheld the verdict following an initial appeal by TCS. The IT firm after the judge’s verdict filed a notice of appeal with the US Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, Chicago, saying that the facts and evidence presented in court were not commensurate with the penalty imposed.
What’s a trade secret?
A trade secret is an intellectual property that gives a company business advantage over rival companies or its customers. The trade secrets of a business are generally out of bounds for its competitors or, for that matter, any other business. Trade secrets could be anything ranging from designs and processes to methods or information.
What happened to the TCS employees?
A source within the Indian IT giant had revealed that the employees who were responsible had been terminated as they were found to have violated the Tata Code of Conduct.
In a filing on Friday, TCS said it is exploring options available to it, as it believes that there is no evidence of misuse of Epic information by it. It will vigorously defend its position before the relevant court, the company said. TCS told ET last year that it remains unwavering in its commitment to ethics, compliance and IP protection. TCS maintains it had not misused or obtained any advantage from those allegedly stolen documents.
In May, Sebi warned TCS to be careful about disclosure of material information to investors after the market watchdog found that the extent of damages relating to the Epic case were not being prominently displayed by the IT major.