Oracle and SAP agree extension to lawsuit

Both sides in Oracle's contentious trade-secrets lawsuit against SAP want more time before facing a court.


Both sides in Oracle's contentious trade-secrets lawsuit against SAP want more time before facing a court.

Although there is little love lost between the bitter applications rivals, they have agreed to a legal stipulation extending the time for Oracle to file an amended complaint and for SAP to respond to that filing. The lawyers representing the companies signed the agreement earlier this week.

Oracle filed a surprise lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. In the suit Oracle charged SAP, its SAP America division, its TomorrowNow subsidiary and 50 unnamed individuals Oracle claimed were SAP employees with violating US fraud legislation and engaging in unfair competition and civil conspiracy.

Oracle's complaint alleged that one or more staff at TomorrowNow, SAP's third-party maintenance subsidiary, pretended to be Oracle customers and illegally hacked into Oracle's secure support web site for users of PeopleSoft and JD Edwards applications. The employees then allegedly downloaded vast amounts of confidential Oracle software and support material.

Oracle further charged that SAP copied the Oracle content and used it to offer Oracle customers cut-rate support services with the ultimate aim of persuading them to dump Oracle applications in favour of SAP's alternative software.

So far, both sides appear at loggerheads, with Oracle not backing down and SAP saying it will defend itself aggressively. While Oracle executives have not commented publicly on the lawsuit, SAP chief executive Henning Kagermann spoke out. "We have no intention to settle; why should we?" he said "We don't think anything is wrong with our company."

Oracle had been set to file an amended complaint to its lawsuit between 21 April and 18 May, but instead that date has now been put back to 1 June. Likewise, SAP was on track to respond to Oracle's amended complaint within 20 days of its appearance, the vendor now has until 2 July to file a response.

The case was originally assigned to US District Court judge Maxine M. Chesney, but she recused herself last week for reasons that were not disclosed. US District Court judge Martin J. Jenkins, is now presiding over the case.

All the news, analysis and opinion on Oracle's battle with SAP here

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Update: SAP admits to 'some inappropriate downloads' in Oracle case SAP wants judge to limit TomorrowNow suit