epic systems

With its exterior designed to look as though it is built into a hill, Epic Systems Corp.'s massive Deep Space Auditorium is shown in this photo, taken last September, at the company's Verona headquarters. Inside, the auditorium seats more than 11,000. 

A trial began in federal court in Madison on Monday in the case of Epic Systems Corp., Verona, vs. two divisions of the mammoth Indian information technology conglomerate, Tata Group.

In a lawsuit filed Oct. 31, 2014, in U.S. District Court in Madison and amended in January and December 2015, Epic accused Tata Consultancy Services, of Mumbai, and its U.S. subsidiary, Tata America International Corp., of New York, of “brazenly stealing the trade secrets, confidential information, documents and data” belonging to Epic.

Epic contended the theft occurred from about 2012 to 2014 when Tata employees worked as consultants to help Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon, use its Epic electronic health records software.

According to the 40-page complaint, Tata employees fraudulently accessed Epic documents and downloaded at least 6,477 of them, containing information that could be used to benefit Tata’s own health care software, Med Mantra.

The lawsuit accuses Tata of computer fraud, stealing trade secrets, breach of contract and damage to Epic’s business.

Epic says it has “incurred substantial damages” but does not specify a dollar amount in the complaint.

Epic, founded in 1979, has 9,500 employees and had revenues of $2.02 billion in 2015.

Tata Consultancy, founded in 1968, has 324,000 employees and $15.5 billion in 2015 revenues, according to the company’s website.

Jury selection and opening arguments got underway Monday before U.S. District Judge William Conley. The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.