Info-tech

CSC lawsuit to disrupt $2-billion deal with Transamerica, says TCS

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on May 04, 2019

File photo   -  Bloomberg

As a part of TCS’s January, 2018 agreement with Transamerica, TCS hired about 2,000 people who were formerly employed by Transamerica in the US

Responding to Computer Sciences Corp’s (CSC) trade secrets lawsuit against it, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)has said that the US-based firm was attempting to “disrupt” its deal with insurer Transamerica. The deal, signed in January 2018, is worth $2 billion.

At the heart of the issue is Vantage, an insurance product from CSC, which claims that the software source code for Vantage was used by TCS to build its own insurance product. CSC had licensed Vantage to Transamerica, with the insurer's employees having access to the software's code to operate the system.

“Likely upset about Transamerica’s decision to transition from Vantage to TCS’s BaNCS Platform, CSC appears determined to disrupt the legitimate business relationship between Transamerica and TCS,” said TCS in a filing with US District Court of the Northern District of Texas.

As a part of TCS’s January, 2018 agreement with Transamerica, TCS hired about 2,000 people who were formerly employed by Transamerica in the US.

According to TCS, CSC was aware that “re-badged” employees of TCS would have access to CSC information and would use that information for the benefit of Transamerica.

System source code

“CSC was fully aware that TCS employees on the Transamerica Vantage Team had to routinely access and consult Vantage source code to support Transamerica’s ongoing needs. CSC’s employees participated in this conduct and shared the source code on emails with the Transamerica,” TCS said in a filing, a copy of which is seen by BusinessLine.

In a February/March 2019 email chain, TCS claimed, CSC employee Ashish Barnwal himself forwarded the Vantage software code to TCS and Transamerica employees to resolve an issue related to how certain calculations were performed, in order to inform Transamerica employees about implementation of BaNCS Platform.

Trade secrets

“Defendants (TCS) are unfairly competing with CSC in the life insurance and annuities administration and processing market. Rather than invest the substantial time and resources to compete legitimately and develop the complex software system required to administer and market US policies, defendants are accessing CSC’s confidential and trade secret information to do so,” said CSC in a filing with the US District Court of the Northern District of Texas.

TCS claimed that the email chain presented as evidence of misappropriation by CSC is simply a routine request from Transamerica to the Transamerica Vantage Team requesting support services for the Vantage Platform.

“CSC demonstrates that a limited group of people at TCS (the Transamerica Vantage Team) accessed allegedly proprietary CSC information — which is the same access they had as Transamerica employees — and that such information was used for the benefit of Transamerica, which Plaintiff has admitted is permitted,” they said.

“TCS has never used CSC’s proprietary data for TCS’s own benefit and certainly has not used any such information to develop a competing product. The team of software developers responsible for updating and customising TCS’s existing BaNCS Platform to provide functionalities as requested by its customers, including Transamerica, is located in Kolkata. This team has never had access to or used CSC’s proprietary data to develop its system,” said TCS’ memo to the US court.

Published on May 02, 2019

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