Oracle, SAP Both Denied Court Requests in Software Piracy Trial

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-10-29

Two of the world's largest enterprise application makers, Oracle and SAP--embroiled in a software piracy lawsuit that begins Nov. 1--each had court requests turned down by the presiding judge on Oct. 29.

SAP was unsuccessful in trying to obtain a gag order for Oracle's attorneys, and Oracle was turned down in its attempt to delay the start of the trial by three days.

SAP is trying to keep as low a profile as possible to avoid any more bad publicity, and Oracle is trying to buy more time in order to get SAP--and former SAP executives--to take the witness stand and admit publicly that the company stole Oracle's IP.

Jury selection at Federal District court in Oakland, Calif., is set to begin Nov. 1 with Judge Phyllis Hamilton presiding.

The court case, originated by an Oracle lawsuit first brought in 2007, will determine how much SAP will be fined for one of its wholly owned affiliates illegally downloading a substantial amount of Oracle's enterprise support software and then using it against Oracle for its own profit.

The stolen software was used by staff members of now-defunct SAP affiliate TomorrowNow three to five years ago to provide low-cost maintenance services on Oracle's software and to lure customers to SAP.

The amount of the fine could range from the tens of millions-which is what SAP thinks is appropriate-to $2.15 billion, which is an amount of damages Oracle says it suffered and SAP does not think appropriate.

Oracle based the $2.15 billion on its estimation of the value of the property SAP admitted stealing.

On Oct. 28, SAP admitted in a court brief to Judge Hamilton that it won't contest Oracle's claim that it is culpable for copyright infringement by TomorrowNow. Oracle contends that SAP knew all along that the stealing was going on but did nothing to prevent it for months after it found out.

SAP had contended that Texas-based TomorrowNow was acting on its own volition and that the Germany-based corporation wasn't aware of the transgressions until much later.

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