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Oracle Throws More Charges at SAP

Oracle  ratcheted up its suit against arch-rival SAP, adding copyright infringement and breach of contract claims to its original suit that charges corporate theft "on a grand scale" among its laundry list of allegations.

In its original complaint, filed on March 22, 2007 in California's Northern District Court in San Francisco, Oracle accused the German software company of engaging in "systematic, illegal access" to its computer support systems.

In the 50-page amended complaint, Oracle makes numerous charges of illegal use of materials. For example, Oracle said SAP's TomorrowNow division distributed a solution to the Daylight Savings Time bug that it said was "substantially similar in total -- and in large appears to be copied identically from - Oracle's DST Solution."

Oracle claims the SAP TN solution included minor errors in Oracle's original documents that it later corrected. The SAP TN logo appears instead of Oracle's.

Former Oracle customer Yazaki North America, an automotive parts supplier, is also listed in the amended complaint. In the month leading up to the end of its support rights to Oracle products on January 3, 2007, the complain said, users using Yazaki credentials downloaded "an enormous number" of Oracle software and support materials relating to Canadian payroll, homebuilder management and real estate management "and many other software products, which make no sense for a U.S. automotive supplier supporting its U.S. business."

Oracle said 11,000 distinct software and support materials were downloaded over a two-week period including 1,500 items Yazaki had no license for. Oracle claims the "illegal downloads are associated with the same IP address belonging to SAP TN in Bryan, Texas."

Steve Bauer, SAP's vice president of global communications, e-mailed the following response to internetnews.com:

"Oracle today filed its long promised amended complaint, after repeated delays. Oracle now apparently has registered some copyrights, so it adds a copyright claim. And, it adds a breach of contract claim based on previously stated allegations. Interestingly, it removes the prior claims of conversion, conspiracy and aiding/abetting.

"SAP plans to respond to the amended complaint by July 2, in accordance with the Court's schedule. At that time, SAP will set the record straight regarding Oracle's allegations. We are eager to vigorously defend this case."

An Oracle spokesperson said the company had no further comment for now beyond what's in its amended complaint.

The original Oracle lawsuit alleges that TomorrowNow, an SAP subsidiary that provides maintenance and support for Oracle-owned PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards products, gained access to Oracle's knowledge bases in November and December, 2006 and January, 2007.

SAP acquired TomorrowNow in January 2005.

According to the original 44-page complaint, employees of TomorrowNow (SAP TN) downloaded thousands of mission-critical items from Oracle's knowledge bases by using the passwords of former and current Oracle customers.

"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," the complaint said.