A US Federal Judge has ordered Oracle to offer an out-of-court settlement to rival enterprise software supplier SAP.
TomorrowNow subsidiary stole Oracle secrets with the knowledge of SAP executives.
Oracle accused TomorrowNow of hacking into its secure website for the applications' users and copying content that could be used to persuade customers to move to SAP.
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SAP has already admitted that some Oracle files were inappropriately downloaded from Oracle servers by TomorrowNow, but it has said SAP itself has not benefited commercially.
San Francisco judge Joseph Spero has now ordered Oracle to tell SAP how much money it wants to settle the case and give the German firm until February 2009 to respond.
It is normal procedure for California courts to attempt to settle before legal proceeding start, according to US media reports.