SAP won't fight Oracle IP claims

SAP will not contest rival Oracle's claims that an SAP subsidiary abused access to its customer support website and stole valuable data, and will accept any financial penalty that is handed down.

SAP will not contest rival Oracle's claims that an SAP subsidiary abused access to its customer support website and stole valuable data, and will accept any financial penalty that is handed down.

However, the German software giant said that the $1bn in damages being demanded by Oracle was overinflated given the monetary gain it received from the subsidiary's actions, claiming "their true damages measure in the tens of millions, at most".

The now defunct SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, was originally bought to provide third party support for customers of PeopleSoft and JD Edwards scared off by Oracle's hostile 2003 acquisition of the merged firms.

While accepting that TomorrowNow did gain access to Oracle's systems and download a large number of proprietary documents, SAP said believes that the impact on Oracle's customer base was negligible.

"TomorrowNow served only a tiny fraction of Plaintiffs' customers - customers
who were already going to drop Plaintiffs' support and whom Oracle's own executives dismissed as 'unprofitable laggards'," SAP said in a court filing.

"TomorrowNow never made a profit, and, despite some initial optimism, no customers chose to purchase SAP software because of TomorrowNow."

In a statement, SAP CFO Werner Brandt said: "By accepting responsibility for TomorrowNow's actions, SAP is taking a decisive move to focus the issues in the case. 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 has yet to comment on the move.

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