Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit: The trial begins

It’s been more than three years since Oracle filed a lawsuit against SAP alleging intellectual property theft. Read this special report for the history of the Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit.

Many in the industry never expected that Oracle and SAP would go to trial over an intellectual property theft case that’s endured more than three years. But beginning November 1, the enterprise software giants are doing exactly that.

In March of 2007, Oracle accused SAP’s now-defunct third-party support subsidiary, TomorrowNow, of intellectual property theft. Over the years, it has expanded its complaint to allege that SAP was complicit in the deal -- knowing TomorrowNow’s business model was illegal, and seeking to expand its business anyhow.

SAP denies the charges, and two years ago shut down TomorrowNow. It claims it never made any money from the endevour. In fact, SAP said it paid $10 million for the business which suffered $90 million in losses during its tenure as an SAP company and never led to the acquisition of any Oracle customers.

In this special report, catch up on the history of the Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit, and stay tuned for updates when the trial begins.

   Updates on the Oracle vs. SAP trial from around the Web

Nov. 24, Market Watch: Oracle's big victory hurts SAP

Oracle's big jury award in its damages case against arch rival SAP AG has inflicted serious pain on the software giant, adding to the beating it took during the nearly three week trial that took place in Federal Court.

Nov. 23, Associated Press: SAP must pay nemesis Oracle $1.3 billion

Oracle Corp.'s courtroom clash with archenemy SAP AG has paid off handsomely. A jury on Tuesday ordered SAP to pay $1.3 billion — more than half of its total profit last year — for a subsidiary's skullduggery in stealing a stockpile of software and customer-support documents from password-protected Oracle websites.

Nov. 22, Reuters: Oracle-SAP trial goes to jury with billions at stake

Larry Ellison pulled numbers "out of the air" when he estimated SAP AG owed billions of dollars in damages for the theft of Oracle software, an SAP lawyer told a U.S. court on Monday.

Nov. 19, Reuters: Oracle-SAP testimony wraps without HP CEO showing 

Testimony in a trial pitting Oracle Corp against SAP AG wrapped up on Friday without former SAP chief and current Hewlett Packard CEO Leo Apotheker appearing. Closing arguments are slated for Monday.

Nov. 18, All Things Digital: Oracle-SAP trial chugs toward finish line

Oracle’s long-running legal battle with SAP and its now-shuttered TomorrowNow subsidiary is heading toward its climax. SAP is expected to rest its case Thursday, after which Oracle will call rebuttal witnesses among them one of its strongest to date, President Safra Catz.  

Nov. 16, Bloomberg: SAP owes Oracle $40.6 million, damages expert says

SAP owes at most $40.6 million for royalties it should have paid, SAP’s expert told a federal court jury.

Nov. 15, Bloomberg: McDermott says TomorrowNow wasn't sales "driver"

SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott told a jury TomorrowNow was “not a big driver of software sales.”

Nov. 15, Reuters: SAP co-CEO says "I am sorry" to Oracle

SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott apologized to rival Oracle for improperly downloading software files, the first time SAP has apologized in the 3-1/2-year-old case.

Nov. 15, Fortune: Oracle v. SAP: A Silicon Valley soap opera

The high-profile lawsuit has all the makings of an industrial espionage flick -- a trash-talking CEO, a star litigator and high-profile witnesses. In sleepy Silicon Valley, those twists and turns have captivated everyone.

Nov. 14, Reuters: SAP expects its co-CEO to testify in Oracle case

SAP AG co-Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott is expected to testify on Monday as SAP kicks off its defense in a high stakes copyright infringement case brought by Oracle.

Nov. 11, Market Watch: HP's new CEO spotted by employees

Léo Apotheker, Hewlett-Packard Co.’s new chief executive deemed missing in action by Oracle Corp., is not hiding out in a bunker in the famous HP garage in Palo Alto.

Nov. 10, Bloomberg: HP's Apotheker, like Carmen Sandiego, is focus at Oracle trial

The hottest new game at the Oracle-SAP AG infringement trial has become “Where in the World is Leo Apotheker?”

Nov. 10, PC World: Court lops $500M off Oracle's potential

Oracle's potential damages in its corporate-theft lawsuit against SAP have been reduced by US$500 million following an order from Judge Phyllis Hamilton, SAP said on Tuesday.

Nov. 10, All Things Digital: Board knew TomorrowNow was infringing at time of acquisition, says SAP attorney 

Proceedings in the Oracle-SAP trial kicked off today with a comment, startling in both its source and content. While discussing instructions to be given to the jury before it begins deliberations, SAP attorney Greg Lanier remarked that “at time of acquisition, the board was aware of [infringing] software on TomorrowNow’s computers.”

Nov. 9, Market Watch: Safra Catz, Oracle's star for the day

Larry Ellison must have been having a bad day. Or maybe the chief executive of Oracle Corp.was just trying to tone down some of his usual bravado for the jury in the federal courtroom as he gave testimony Monday in his company’s lawsuit against nemesis SAP AG.

Nov. 9, All Things Digital: Ellison swaps katana for poison darts

If Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s testimony today in the SAP trial lacked his usual flair for enthusiastic bloodletting, it was only because he put aside his standard samurai tactics in favor of a more subtle, ninja approach.

Nov. 8, Market Watch: Oracle CEO grilled at SAP trial 

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison insisted that he simply never left a written record of his concerns that an SAP subsidiary would inflict billions of dollars worth of damage on his company.

Nov. 5, ABC News: SAP to get its shot at Ellison in high-stakes trial 

SAP AG will get its chance to take on Oracle CEO Larry Ellison on Monday when he takes the stand as the U.S. software maker's star witness in a high-profile software theft trial.

Nov. 5, All Things Digital: Oracle lands early shots in SAP trial

If SAP finds Oracle’s claim for $2 billion in damages in the pairs’ long-running legal battle to be excessive, the figures offered by former Oracle President Charles Phillips must seem outright profligate.

Nov. 4, Bloomberg: HP accuses Oracle of harrassing new CEO with SAP trial subpoena

HP, accusing Oracle of harassing its new chief executive officer, refused to accept service of a subpoena requiring Leo Apotheker to testify at a trial over SAP AG’s downloading of Oracle software.

Nov. 3, Reuters: HP CEO Leo Apotheker to testify

Oracle attorney Geoffrey Howard told a court on Tuesday that former  SAP CEO Leo Apotheker -- who started his job as head of HP on Monday -- would testify at the high-stakes trial, with his credibility at stake.

Nov. 2, CIO: SAP says its willing to pay $120 million for Oracle's attorney fees

SAP would pay Oracle US$120 million for "past and future reasonable attorneys fees and costs" under the terms of a joint stipulation filed Monday in connection with the companies' ongoing intellectual-property lawsuit.

Nov. 2, Wall Street Journal: 8-person jury chosen

Lawyers selected on Monday an eight-person jury that will determine how much the German business software company will pay to its U.S. archrival. Potential jurors were asked about stock ownership and familiarity with intellectual property during the questioning, which lasted more than four hours. In particular, SAP attorneys focused on whether potential jurors could remain unbiased towards a non-U.S. company.

Nov. 2, Wall Street Journal: Former SAP exec foresaw possible Oracle suit

Former SAP AG executive Shai Agassi acknowledged that questions about the legality of TomorrowNow Inc.’s business model surfaced among SAP executives even before it acquired the firm.

Nov. 1, PC World: Jury selection underway; potential jurors banned from social media 

Jury selection got underway Monday morning in a California courtroom, where potential jurors were warned they would have to refrain from posting on Facebook or Twitter about the case if they are selected to take part in the trial.

Oct. 28, Reuters: HP won't say if CEO will testify in SAP-Oracle case

While HP won't release its executives schedules, SAP is accusing Oracle of creating a 'sideshow' and waging a personal campaign against HP.

 Oct. 27, Mercury News: Ellison vows evidence will implicate HP's new CEO

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said Tuesday he could prove that former SAP and incoming Hewlett-Packard CEO Léo Apotheker was complicit in an alleged scheme to steal Oracle's intellectual property. and coverage

November 30: With Oracle-SAP trial over, third-party maintenance questions remain 

With the recent lawsuit between Oracle and SAP yielding little other than a $1.3 billion judgment and a few interesting bits of testimony, industry watchers say answers regarding third-party maintenance vendors will have to wait for another day. That day could come when -- or, more important, if -- Oracle’s case against Rimini Street ever goes to trial

November 26: And the winner is...Oracle

So, after three weeks of testimony, SAP vs. Oracle has ended with a whopping $1.3 billion verdict for Oracle, which is a lot closer to its original demand of $1.7 billion than some thought was possible, and way, way beyond the $40 million that SAP felt was more appropriate.

November 19:  Latest in SAP vs. Oracle -- McDermott: 'I am sorry' 

Maybe it’s because nobody seems to apologize for anything anymore in a court of law, but I have to admit I was a bit surprised to hear that SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott apologized to Oracle in such unequivocal terms when he took the stand on Monday, as the trial began its third week. 

Nov. 12: Blow darts, $500 million, and still no Leo

This week Oracle CEO Larry Ellison took the stand to testify in his company’s lawsuit against SAP, and many expected the same outspoken Ellison who brought the lawsuit to begin with.  For whatever reason, it didn’t quite turn out that way.

Nov. 10: Ellison hires private eye to find HP CEO as trial continues

The Oracle vs. SAP trial is now underway and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has already taken the stand. But the one person who Ellison wants to see testify — former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker - is nowhere to be found.

Nov. 8: And we're off... 

There’s been some pretty interesting developments along the way that set the stage for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s appearance in court on Monday. 

Nov. 1: Oracle vs. SAP trial matters little to users 

Even with the billions of dollars Oracle is claiming SAP owes it, several SAP customers interviewed said the lawsuit is of little concern to their organizations.

Oct. 28: SAP says it won't contest Oracle's claims it contributed to copyright infringement

Just days before its highly anticipated trial with Oracle is set to start, SAP is no longer contesting that it contributed to the alleged copyright infringement of TomorrowNow, according to court documents.

Oct. 27: Ellison wages war, tries to prevent new HP CEO from reporting to work

Genghis Khan once said, “It is not sufficient that I succeed — all others must fail.” And so it is with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and his most recent statement regarding the upcoming Oracle vs. SAP trial.

   Milestones in the Oracle vs. SAP case

Aug. 18, 2010: Court limits scope, potential damages of Oracle lawsuit against SAP

A California U.S. District Court sided with SAP in the software maker’s push to limit the scope of potential damages in Oracle’s high-profile lawsuit against the company.

Aug. 5, 2010:Seeking speedy resolution to TomorrowNow case, SAP offers to pay up

Claiming that it never made any money from TomorrowNow or gained any Oracle customers from its acquisition of the third- party support vendor, SAP agreed to pay Oracle for copyright infringement and illegal downloading engaged in by its now- defunct subsidiary.

June 2008: Oracle claims SAP owes it $1 billion in lawsuit

Oracle claimed in its lawsuit that SAP owes it at least $1 billion in damages for copyright infringement.

October 2008: Oracle and SAP to talk settlement in TomorrowNow case

A federal judge ordered Oracle to come up with a figure by February that will settle its lawsuit against SAP.

October 2008: Oracle alleges SAP wanted to expand illegal TomorrowNow operation

Oracle has alleged that SAP was preparing to extend its illegal third-party support operation to Oracle's E-Business Suite and its Hyperion and Retek acquisitions, in court documents.

July 2008:Oracle outlines its case that SAP stole its underlying applications

Oracle accused SAP's subsidiary TomorrowNow of conspiring to hack into its support website not only to download its support materials but also to steal and store its underlying applications.

July 2008: SAP shuts down TomorrowNow

SAP brought to an end its difficult and expensive acquisition of TomorrowNow because it no longer wants a part of third-party support or the Oracle lawsuit that came with it, analysts and lawyers said.

November 2007: TomorrowNow executives resign as SAP ponders selling division

TomorrowNow's CEO resigned along with other senior executives and SAP revealed that it was considering selling the star-crossed unit.

July 2007: SAP responds to Oracle lawsuit, admits to inappropriate downloads

After months of back and forth on Oracle's lawsuit against SAP's TomorrowNow group, SAP issued a formal response, with its CEO candidly admitting to some "inappropriate downloads" of Oracle support materials.

March 2007: Oracle sues SAP for stealing software

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company charged SAP with "corporate theft on a grand scale," according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Among the charges, Oracle claimed SAP stole copyrighted software and other proprietary information.

January 2005: SAP acquires PeopleSoft support provider

SAP acquired TomorrowNow Inc., a third-party support provider for customers running PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards (JDE) software, and offered an incentive program in an attempt to lure customers away from software rival Oracle.

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