Upaid to seek damages up to $2 bn from Satyam

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 15 2009, 05:23am hrs
Beleaguered IT company Satyam Computer is in for more trouble, with UK-based mobile solutions company Upaid Systems Ltd expected to seek penalties of upto $2 billion from it on a fraud and forgery case filed by the latter. Upaid had initially said that it was looking at penalties worth $1 billion from Satyam. Upaid is also sending Nasscom, the Indian IT industry's apex body, a list of queries with respect to its rules, business practices, the way it enforces these rules amongst its members and specific issues related to integrity of intellectual property (IP).

Upaid had filed a lawsuit in a Texas court in 2007 alleging that Satyam provided forged documents to it in patents filing that eventually resulted in the company losing its patent infringement case against telecom giants Qualcomm and Verizon.

Simon Joyce, CEO, Upaid, told FE, "We will be putting forward a specific figure as damages in the next few weeks to the opposite party. It will be mobile and different than what we had expected before a year to 18 months and it is expected to be in the $1-2 billion range.

Joyce added that the firm was confident of winning the case. "Satyam has had numerous efforts to avoid the day of trial in the last 18 months to two years. But they have failed to do it this time because now the court has refused Satyam's appeal to delay the process.The firm will see the next trial on 1 June 2009 in the Texas court. He added that the court has also ordered for a deposition of testimony from Nasscom on last Tuesday, Feburary 3, 2009. Upaid will now send Nasscom a list of more than 20 questions with respect to its rules, business practices, the way it enforces these rules amongst its members and specific issues related to integrity of intellectual property (IP).

The case is expected to pull in the current executives of the company as well as they need to give a deposition of testimony. "The court has asked a deposition testimony from the current executives of Satyam besides Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju and Hari T,Joyce added. He added that Satyam has been forced to submit documents with respect to the employee appointment letters and that there were no documentations that indicate the employees, working on the IP, have handed over the assignments to the employer.

The CEO added that the firm had contacted Nasscom in November 2007 and sought consel from them. "We wanted to have their advice on how to go about it and we received no response. For years, Satyam has been projecting itself as followers of high level of corporate governance and have represented membership of Nasscom,Joyce added.