SAP Disposal of TomorrowNow Won't Halt Oracle Suit

Oracle confirms that it will continue to pursue legal action against SAP and TomorrowNow regardless of what SAP does with the subsidiary.

Whether or not SAP sells its third-party support subsidiary TomorrowNow, Oracle plans to pursue its legal case against SAP. And the two parties are not in settlement negotiations, an Oracle spokeswoman said Jan. 25.

"If SAP sells TomorrowNow, that will not affect Oracle's right to maintain its lawsuit against SAP and TomorrowNow," said Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger, in an email to eWEEK.

Hellinger confirmed that the next hearing date in the case is February 12.

Oracle filed suit against SAP in March 2007, alleging that SAP and its subsidiary TomorrowNow unlawfully accessed support documentation from Oracle's support Web site. TomorrowNow provides third-party support for Oracle's PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel applications.

In June, Oracle amended its complaint against SAP adding charges of code theft. The bottom line: Whereas Oracle initially alleged SAP committed corporate theft on a grand scale by downloading thousands of Oracle support documents, Oracle expanded its claim to include allegations that SAP hacked into Oracle's systems to steal confidential product documentation.

In July, after a nearly four month internal investigation, SAP CEO Henning Kagermann held a press conference to announce that TomorrowNow did in fact improperly download information.

"Third-party support providers like TomorrowNow depend on their customers permitting the service provider access to their support documents, to provide support for those applications," said Kagermann. "Even Oracle admits to the appropriateness of this practice. But even a single inappropriate download is unacceptable from my perspective. We regret very much that this occurred."

Eight months later TomorrowNow's founder and CEO, Andrew Nelson, resigned from the company along with several other top managers. At the same time, SAP said in a statement it was looking at its options with TomorrowNow, including a potential sale of the company.

No new information had been provided by SAP regarding TomorrowNow's future until it released on Jan. 13 a preliminary fourth quarter earnings statement. A footnote in that statement disclosed SAP would report TomorrowNow's financials separately because its operations had been suspended.

SAP officials were not available to comment at press time.