Oracle: HP's New CEO Is Ducking Our Subpoena

Hewlett-Packard has refused to accept a subpoena for its new CEO, Leo Apotheker, to testify in Oracle's copyright infringement lawsuit against SAP, according to Oracle.

The lawsuit, currently being tried in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charges that SAP's now shuttered TomorrowNow service subsidiary committed copyright infringement when it downloaded software and support materials from Oracle Web sites.

Today former Oracle president Charles Phillips and John Zepecki, senior vice president and general manager at SAP, are scheduled to testify in the case.

SAP has acknowledged liability in the Oracle lawsuit" and the trial is focused on the question of the amount of damages that should be awarded in the case.

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Last week, in a series of incendiary statements, Oracle threatened to call Apotheker to testify, arguing that he was co-CEO and CEO during some of the period when TomorrowNow allegedly stole Oracle software and copyrighted support materials.

NEXT: Tensions Between Oracle And HP

"Hewlett-Packard has refused to accept service of a subpoena requiring Mr. Apotheker to testify about his role in SAP's illegal conduct," said an Oracle spokeswoman in a statement released late Wednesday. "Mr. Apotheker started work for HP on Monday, but now it appears that the HP Board of Directors has decided to keep him away from HP's headquarters and outside the court's jurisdiction. We will continue to try to serve him."

Apotheker resigned as SAP CEO in February following a year of poor performance by the company. On Sept. 30, in a surprise move, HP named Apotheker to be its new CEO, replacing Mark Hurd who resigned in August in the wake of allegations of improperly filed expense reports.

Oracle's hiring of Hurd and its aggressive efforts to get Apotheker to testify has created friction between Oracle and HP, once tight allies in the IT market. Last week HP charged that Oracle's efforts to drag Apotheker into the Oracle-SAP suit was "an effort to harass [Apotheker] and interfere with his duties and responsibilities as HP's CEO."

"Oracle had ample opportunity to question Leo during his sworn deposition in October 2008 and chose not to include him as a live trial witness until he was named CEO of HP," said an HP spokesperson, in response to Oracle's latest statement. "Given Leo's limited knowledge of and role in the matter, Oracle's last-minute effort to require him to appear live at trial is no more than an effort to harass him and interfere with his duties and responsibilities as HP's CEO."