Oracle copyright court battle with SAP begins


Oracle copyright court battle with SAP begins

Warwick Ashford

Oracle's court battle with rival SAP over unauthorised access of its customer systems by an SAP subsidiary in 2007 gets into full swing today.

Oracle is seeking at least $2bn in damages, alleging that SAP's now-defunct support services subsidiary TomorrowNow illegally copied software to support customers without buying licences to access it.

SAP acknowledges TomorrowNow made "inappropriate" downloads of Oracle materials, but says Oracle has exaggerated the impact on its business.

Legal representatives from Oracle and SAP, who spent the opening day of the trial on Monday selecting jurors and hammering out procedural rules for the trial, are expected to present opening arguments today.

Although the trial is to focus on how much SAP will have to pay in damages, the credibility of former SAP head and now top HP executive Leo Apotheker is also at stake, according to Reuters.

SAP maintains that Apotheker did not know of any wrongdoing while it was taking place and shut down TomorrowNow after he found out.

But last week, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison accused Apotheker of being aware of TomorrowNow's activities at the time they were taking place and hinted at a courtroom showdown.

HP has declined to say whether Apotheker will testify, but the company has accused Oracle of threatening to call him only to harass him and interfere with his new duties.

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