SAP won't fight Oracle claims in espionage case

Aug 06, 2010 By JORDAN ROBERTSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- In a surprise twist in a corporate espionage case involving two of the world's biggest business software makers, SAP AG on Thursday said it won't fight claims that a subsidiary stole valuable data from rival Oracle Corp. and that SAP tried to use it to steal customers.

That leaves the two companies to fight over just how valuable that data was. A trial over Oracle's lawsuit begins in November. Oracle says it is entitled to $1 billion in damages; says that figure is "vastly overstated."

The case centers largely on customer-support materials that Oracle had developed and that its customers - and third parties that support their software - had access to through password-protected websites.

TomorrowNow, a SAP subsidiary that provided software support services until SAP shut the division down in 2008, is accused of abusing its access to those sites.

Oracle alleges that TomorrowNow secretly downloaded millions of proprietary Oracle documents so that SAP could use them to "offer cut-rate support services to customers who use Oracle software, and to attempt to lure them to SAP's applications and away from Oracle's," according to Oracle's complaint, filed in 2007.

The materials include software updates, bug fixes, instructional documents, custom programs and frequently asked questions lists, according to Oracle's complaint.

SAP, based in Walldorf, Germany, said its announcement Thursday represents the company's efforts to resolve the lawsuit.

It said it wouldn't fight Oracle's claims that TomorrowNow is liable for and for the downloading conduct described in the complaint.

SAP added that it will accept financial responsibility for any judgment awarded against TomorrowNow, "despite the fact that SAP was not involved in TomorrowNow's service operations and did not engage in any of the copying or downloading alleged in Oracle's complaint."

That leaves the two sides to fight over Oracle's damages claims.

"By accepting responsibility for TomorrowNow's actions, SAP is taking a decisive move to focus the issues in the case," Werner Brandt, SAP's chief financial officer, said in a statement.

"We acknowledged three years ago that TomorrowNow made mistakes, and we took direct action to address Oracle's concerns, including shutting down the company nearly two years ago. SAP is committed to compensating Oracle for the harm the limited operations of TomorrowNow actually caused. Oracle's unreasonable damages claims are an unproductive distraction as we work to find a fair resolution in this case."

Oracle, which is based in Redwood Shores, declined to comment.

The trial is scheduled to begin on November 1 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Explore further: EU Parliament votes to break up Google

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SAP Brings Good Q1 News to Sapphire

Apr 22, 2007

SAP reported its first quarter 2007 earnings April 20, highlighting a jump in profits. Net income for the quarter was $413 million, up from $282 million a year ago, and total revenue jumped 6 percent to $295 billion, in what ...

SAP, Open Text Pen Reseller Agreement

May 03, 2007

SAP and Open Text have signed a reseller agreement that will deliver enterprise content management software, enabling businesses to have data archiving platforms provided by Open Text.

Recommended for you

EU Parliament votes to break up Google

Nov 27, 2014

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the break-up of Google Thursday in a largely symbolic vote that nevertheless cast another blow in the four-year standoff between Brussels and the US Internet ...

Toyota finds new air bag issue, recalls more cars

Nov 27, 2014

Toyota Motor Corp. recalled more than 40,000 vehicles in Japan on Thursday as part of a worldwide scare over defective air bags and is investigating a new type of air bag problem that could lead to further recalls.

Netflix sues Yahoo CIO for alleged kickbacks

Nov 26, 2014

Netflix is suing a former company vice president who is now chief information officer at Yahoo, accusing him of receiving money from vendors he hired to work with the video streaming company.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

lengould100
not rated yet Aug 06, 2010
Looks like Oracle may be getting worried by the Sybase takeover by SAP?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.