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SAP seeks Oracle gagging order

German financial software giant SAP seeks to gag Oracle lawyers during copyright battle

26 Oct 2010

By Rachael Singh

SAP logo

(Accountancy Age) A gagging order has been requested by German financial software giant SAP against its rival Oracle.

SAP filed an order to prevent Oracle lawyers speaking to journalists. The software business said media coverage on an upcoming copyright case between the warring companies could unfairly influence jurors' opinions, ZDNet.com reports.

The copyright dispute is over specialist software business TomorrowNow which SAP bought from Oracle in 2005, and closed in 2008.

Oracle claims TomorrowNow employees, who now work at SAP, stole software and technical information from it, which it labeled as "corporate theft... on the grandest scale".

SAP lawyers used a New York Times article on its former CEO Leo Apotheker's appointment as CEO of HP to support its request. In the article the author wrote that "as a member of the SAP executive board, Mr Apotheker clearly knew about the theft".

SAP accepted it had infringed on copyright liability, however, it disputes it intentionally infringed Oracle's intellectual property, and the extent of damages sought by Oracle.

"Although TomorrowNow did make mistakes in its operations, [Oracle's] damage claims are vastly exaggerated," SAP said in a previous trial brief.

"Plaintiffs have asserted a claim for billions [of dollars], where their true damages measure in the tens of millions."

The TomorrowNow copyright hearing is due to begin on 1 November.

 

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