Tata Faces Trade Secrets Setback: $210M Damages in DXC Technology Case, Jury Says
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a prominent Indian software conglomerate, has recently been embroiled in a legal battle with DXC Technology, resulting in a substantial setback. A federal court in Dallas, Texas, handed down a verdict against TCS, demanding a staggering $210 million damages due to allegations of trade secret theft.
The case traces back to 2019 when TCS faced a lawsuit filed by DXC's predecessor, Computer Sciences Corp (CSC). The crux of the complaint was TCS's purported unauthorized access to CSC's proprietary software while working with Money Services Inc., an affiliate of Transamerica. Tata had entered into a significant contract with Transamerica in 2018, leading to the rebranding of approximately 2,200 Transamerica employees. The lawsuit alleged that these employees leveraged their access to CSC's software to gain insights into its source code and other confidential information, ultimately aiding TCS in creating a competing life insurance platform.
The recent jury decision determined TCS's infringement on DXC's CyberLife and Vantage-One software, essential tools for managing annuity and life insurance plans. The jury found TCS guilty of maliciously exploiting trade secrets, thereby imposing a fine of $140 million for this act, coupled with an additional $70 million for the theft of trade secrets.
Despite TCS's stance against these allegations, the company expressed its disagreement with the jury's verdict, highlighting its intention to continue litigation. A TCS spokesperson stated, "We respectfully disagree with the jury’s advisory verdict. The matter will now be decided by the Court, which has ordered further briefing from the parties. We plan to continue to litigate this ongoing case."
Earlier in June, Transamerica, the US-based insurer and TCS client, terminated its 10-year agreement with TCS prematurely. It's speculated that Transamerica's decision to move towards an insourced business model, reclaiming control over its IT operations, contributed to this unexpected termination.
TCS's legal tussles not only signify significant financial penalties but also pose challenges in the company's relationships with key clients, potentially impacting its future business prospects. This incident underscores the importance of maintaining ethical boundaries in the fiercely competitive landscape of the IT industry, signaling a cautionary tale for companies navigating trade secrets and proprietary information in strategic partnerships and collaborations.
As this legal saga unfolds, it remains to be seen how TCS navigates the aftermath and strategizes its legal defense while addressing the implications on its business operations and industry standing.