Time for sharp competitive intelligence

Satyam Computer Services, India’s fourth-largest software exporter, could be staring at penalties in excess of $1 billion if it loses a case to one of its former customers, Upaid Systems, in the US federal court in Texas.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected a Satyam request that the case be heard in the UK, asking it to pay up the legal charges, too.

Satyam and Upaid, a UK-based online and mobile payments service company, are locked in a legal battle in the UK and the US on what the latter calls “forgery, breach of contract.”

Simon Joyce, chief executive, Upaid, told DNA from London : “The sum involved is large and would be determined ultimately by the jury. However, there are a number of documents in the public domain, which make it clear that the damages could be over $1 billion.”

Satyam closed FY08 with revenues of Rs 8,473 crore, or little in excess of $2 billion. Its reserves and surplus stands at about Rs 7,100 crore or about $1.8 billion.

The case is not an intellectual property dispute or something pertaining to the patentability of a product or ownership of patent. It is about agreements on the transfer of intellectual property.

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