Teradata Names Vishal Sikka in IP-Theft Lawsuit Against SAP

Teradata alleged that SAP has “engaged in a decade-long campaign of anti-competitive behaviour.”

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Cloud-based data and analytics firm Teradata has filed a complaint in a US court against German firm SAP alleging trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement and antitrust violations.

The complaint, filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, also claimed that key SAP employees, including its then former CTO Vishal Sikka, "were aware of and supported SAP's misappropriation of Teradata's trade secrets during the development of HANA".

Sikka is considered to be the force behind SAP's analytics platform HANA that had helped the company strengthen its position in the global market.

The complaint has been filed against SAP SE, SAP America, Inc and SAP Labs, LLC (collectively, SAP), Teradata said in a statement on its website.

The statement also carried an online link to a copy of the lawsuit filed against SAP.

In its complaint, Teradata alleged that SAP has "engaged in a decade-long campaign of anti-competitive behaviour, to the detriment of the parties' customers and Teradata alike" and that the German firm had "lured" Teradata into a purported joint venture to gain access to the latter's intellectual property.

"SAP's purpose for the JV was to steal Teradata's trade secrets, developed over the course of four decades, and use them to quickly develop and introduce a competing though inferior product, SAP HANA," it claimed.


Teradata further alleged that upon the release of SAP HANA, SAP promptly terminated the JV and that "SAP is now attempting to coerce its customers into using HANA only, to the exclusion of Teradata".

On the development, SAP said it is "surprised to learn of the complaint filed by Teradata earlier today in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Although SAP generally does not comment on pending litigation, SAP may issue a statement, if appropriate, after it has had an opportunity to review the complaint." Sikka could not be reached for comments.

Among other instances of misappropriation, SAP used Teradata trade secrets to optimise the processing of certain Open SQL queries for large volumes of data, enabling improved performance speed and opportunities for parallel processing and other enhancements on SAP’s HANA. On information and belief, key SAP employees, including Sikka, the so-called “mastermind” of HANA, were aware of and supported SAP’s misappropriation of Teradata’s trade secrets during the development of HANA.
The complaint 
Teradata said it supports competition and innovation in the data and analytics space but SAP’s conduct is “neither pro-competitive nor innovative”.

"We believe seeking relief through legal action against SAP is a necessary step to protect the rights and interests of our shareholders and all of our other stakeholders, including our customers. Teradata is seeking an injunction barring SAP's illegal conduct, monetary damages, and all other legal and equitable relief available under law and which the court may deem proper," according to the Teradata statement.

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