US jury slaps $940 million fine on Tata group
The Tata group has been slapped with a $940 million fine by a US grand jury on Friday for stealing information related to Wisconsin- based Epic Systems Corp’s healthcare software.According to the verdict, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, and Tata America International Corp will have to pay $240 million to Epic for ripping off its software, along with $700 million in punitive damages.
In a lawsuit filed in October 2014, which was amended in January and December 2015, Epic Systems accused TCS and Tata America International Corp., of “brazenly stealing the trade secrets, confidential information, documents and data” belonging to Epic. It further mentioned that TCS had taken the details while consulting for its customer.
The lawsuit said, “Rather than compete lawfully with Epic, TCS has engaged in an apparently elaborate campaign of deception to steal documents, confidential information, trade secrets, and other information and data from Epic, for the purpose of realising technical expertise developed by Epic over years of hard work and investment.”
According to Epic, the company got hold of an informant who revealed that TCS employees had been “fraudulently accessing” Epic’s software beyond what the consulting contract required, and using Epic’s software to improve their own competing product. It further revealed that one TCS employee’s account, which was used in India and several US locations, downloaded 6,477 documents.