Compiled by: Sachi Kapoor | Concept & Edited by: Dr. Mohan Dewan
Tata Consultancy Services is an Indian based multi-national IT company headquartered in Mumbai. It is a part of the Tata Group and having nearly 400,875 associates, representing 143 nationalities in over 46 countries. Recently, Simonelli Innovation LLC, a privately held consulting firm from Texas, USA filed a suit against TCS.
Facts in Brief: On 11 June 2014, Simonelli and Tata America International Corp (TAIC) agreed to co-develop a "prototype factory and co-innovation model" where TCS was to provide prototyping services to the clients. The agreement expressly allowed TCS to use the IP and trade secrets of the US firm in projects under the 'Alliance Agreement' that would mutually benefit both the companies. In a suit filed by Simonelli Innovation LLC, in the Texas Court, the company has alleged that TCS and TAIC have used wrongful methods to obtain Simonelli's Client database and consulting offering solutions, and increased revenue without prior information to Simonelli, which according to Simonelli is in direct violation of the Alliance Agreement. Simonelli claims to have invested the money and time to develop its own methodology and expertise, which is a trade secret according to the Defend Trade Secrets Act.
Since the case has only just been filed at the Texas Court, the true facts of the case will unfold with the unveiling of evidence during the trial. The question to be thought about is – Can a database created of the Clients' constitute an Intellectual Property under Trade Secrets? A further thought: If an employee of a company leaves and joins a competitor and at the same time takes with him the Database of his ex-company's suppliers and clients will this constitute a violation of Confidential Information and Trade Secrets?
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