SAP Admits Liability In Oracle Lawsuit, Seeks To Shorten Trial

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But SAP, in the pre-trial brief, argues that Oracle’s “damage claims are vastly exaggerated” and that “true damages measure in the tens of millions, at most,” rather than the “billions” SAP said Oracle is seeking.

Oracle’s lawsuit, filed in 2007, charges that TomorrowNow employees illegally downloaded software and other copyrighted support material as part of its customer support operations. Earlier this year Oracle filed a similar lawsuit against Las Vegas-based Rimini Street, another third-party services company.

SAP’s acknowledgement of some liability in the case comes three months before the lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial. In its filing SAP proposes to streamline the case by focusing on the issue of the amount of damages involved, a move it said that could shorten the trial to two weeks.

As of Monday morning Oracle had yet to respond to SAP’s court filing.

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SAP acquired TomorrowNow, which provided third-party software maintenance services to owners of PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards applications, in 2005. Oracle previously acquired PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards, and SAP saw TomorrowNow as a way to penetrate Oracle customer accounts.

But the plan didn’t work out. In the new filing SAP said TomorrowNow “served only a tiny fraction” of Oracle customers, none of whom switched to SAP products, and it never turned a profit. SAP shut TomorrowNow down in 2008.

In its new court filing SAP charges that Oracle has “no interest in resolving this case.” But SAP is offering to admit liability in the suit and limit the case to the amount of damages involved.

“Years of litigation have made a few things clear: Although TomorrowNow did make mistakes in its operations, Plaintiffs’ damage claims are vastly exaggerated, and Plaintiffs have no interest in resolving this case. Someone will have to take a major step, or this case will never end,” the court papers state. “That ‘someone’ is SAP. SAP recognizes not only that TomorrowNow made mistakes, but that Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation, for which SAP will accept ultimate financial responsibility. That compensation must be based in reality and the law, however.”