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Friday, March 23, 2007

Oracle Says SAP Indulged In Theft On A Grand Scale

It’s quite sometime that we have seen big vendors openly fighting between themselves barring the occasional barbs. Oracle brings this lawsuit after discovering that

SAP is engaged in systematic, illegal access to – and taking from – Oracle’s computerized customer support systems. Through this scheme, SAP has stolen thousands of proprietary, copyrighted software products and other confidential materials that Oracle developed to service its own support customers. SAP gained repeated and unauthorized access, in many cases by use of pretextual customer log-in credentials, to Oracle’s proprietary, password-protected customer support website. From that website, SAP has copied and swept thousands of Oracle software products and other proprietary and confidential materials onto its own servers. As a result, SAP has compiled an illegal library of Oracle’s copyrighted software code and other materials. This storehouse of stolen Oracle intellectual property enables SAP to offer cut rate support services to customers who use Oracle software, and to attempt to lure them to SAP’s applications softwareplatform and away from Oracle’s. Through this Complaint, Oracle seeks to stop SAP’s illegal intrusions and theft, to prevent SAP from using the materials it has illegally acquired to compete with Oracle, and to recover damages and attorneys’ fees.

The complaint goes on to say,” SAP employees used the log-in IDs of multiple customers, combined with phony user log-in information, to gain access to Oracle’s system under false pretexts. Employing these techniques, SAP users effectively swept much of the contents of Oracle’s system onto SAP’s servers”.

The charges appear pretty serious indeed. We now have to await SAP response, it says it won't comment as of now, until it gets the chance to fully review the charges. The charges are mostly against TomorrowNow, the subsidiary of SAP. Hopefully this gets resolved quickly and does not blow to be a full scale war – one that big enterprise software vendors can ill afford now with slowing growth. If they persist, this could open up significant opportunities for smaller players.


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