Rachael Singh, Accountancy Age, Tuesday 26 October 2010 at 10:00:00

German financial software giant SAP seeks to gag Oracle lawyers duringcopyright battle

A gagging order has been requested by German financial software giant SAPagainst its rival Oracle.

SAP filed an order to prevent Oracle lawyers speaking to journalists. Thesoftware business said media coverage on an upcoming copyright case between thewarring companies could unfairly influence jurors' opinions,ZDNet.comreports.

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

Oracle claims TomorrowNow employees, who now work at SAP, stole software andtechnical information from it, which it labeled as "corporate theft? on thegrandest scale".

SAP lawyers used aNewYork Times article on its former CEO Leo Apotheker'sappointment as CEO of HP to support its request. In the article the author wrotethat "as a member of the SAP executive board, Mr Apotheker clearly knew aboutthe theft".

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

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

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

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

Further reading:

SAPpushes for jury decision on Oracle TomorrowNow lawsuit

SAPand Oracle fail to agree on TomorrowNow in court

SAPasks for mediator in Oracle row