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: China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

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

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

23 hours ago

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

Dec 20, 2014

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

Dec 20, 2014

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

Dec 20, 2014

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

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.