Oracle’s legal action against SAP AG begins

2 November 2010

Oracle’s law suit seeking more than $2 billion in damages for alleged copyright infringements has been given the go-ahead.

The financial technology vendor is looking to extract the sum from SAP AG, a figure which the latter is contesting.

SAP AG has admitted liability and acknowledged wrongdoing in downloading materials from an Oracle customer service website but has claimed that penalty should be in the tens of millions of dollars rather than in the billions.

Lee Apotheker, former chief executive officer (CEO) at SAP AG, has been named by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison as playing a role in the case.

In a statement quoted by Bloomberg, Mr Ellison said: “A few weeks ago I accused HP's new CEO, Leo Apotheker, of overseeing an industrial espionage scheme centring on the repeated theft of massive amounts of Oracle's software. A major portion of this theft occurred while Mr Apotheker was CEO of SAP.”

Mr Apotheker begins his new role as CEO at Hewlett Packard today (November 1st) as the relationship between his new firm and Oracle continues to crumble.

Mark Hurd, previous CEO at HP and friend of Mr Ellison, left HP during the summer amid accusations of financial irregularities in expense filing and of having an affair with a female contractor.

Oracle then appointed Mr Hurd as its president while HP employed Mr Apotheker as its new CEO.

By Jim Ottewill

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