Business and cloud analytics firm Teradata has filed a lawsuit in the United States against German software company SAP for allegedly stealing trade secrets, copyright infringement and committing anti-trust violations, The Times of India reported. The company has also named former Infosys chief Vishal Sikka, who served as SAP’s chief technology officer from 2007 to 2014, in the lawsuit.
Sikka, however, has refuted the allegations as “baseless and outrageous”, PTI reported. “Although this lawsuit is not directed at me, I categorically deny the baseless and outrageous allegations made by TeraData that attempt to diminish the hard work, passion, and the irrefutable and fully legitimate achievements by the Hana team, including myself,” he said in a statement.
The German software company is accused of stealing Teradata’s trade secrets while building its HANA database management system and coercing customers to use its product, thereby causing Teradata to lose revenue, profit and market share. Sikka is accused of being aware of SAP’s practice and supporting “SAP’s misappropriation of Teradata’s trade secrets during the development of HANA”.
Teradata alleged that SAP faced the same challenges while building HANA that the two companies encountered while working on a joint venture between 2009 and 2011. “To overcome this challenge during HANA development, the developers, at the direction of Sikka, utilised the same solution developed by Teradata’s engineers and developers during the Bridge Project – using Teradata’s trade-secret techniques for optimising the execution of analytical queries and the speed of data storage and retrieval in large-scale databases,” the company alleged.
The lawsuit, which was filed in US District Court of Northern District of California, pointed out that Sikka had restructured SAP’s engineering teams to develop and deploy SAP HANA in less than a year, which, they claimed, was “an extremely short time frame for a project of such magnitude”.
“SAP was surprised to learn of the complaint filed by Teradata,” an unidentified company spokesperson told The Hindu Business Line. “Although SAP generally does not comment on pending litigation, it may issue a statement, if appropriate, after it has had an opportunity to review the complaint.”
Sikka ran into a similar controversy in 2017 when SAP said that Infosys’ artificial intelligence platform MANA sounded similar to HANA, and alleged that it was a trademark violation. The matter was resolved when Infosys renamed the platform Nia.