Okay, I've had another day to read the suit, and I'm convinced more than ever that Oracle has no case against SAP and TomorrowNow, at least as constituted in the complaint as I read it. There may have been rogue operators doing unsanctioned downloads, but the case as it is written would wash out quickly in my court.
Here's just a few of the key excerpts from the complaint, and why I think they're going nowhere fast.
“Had Defendants refrained from engaging in the unlawful and wrongful conduct described in this complaint, there is a substantial probability that Oracle support customers would have initiated, renewed, or expanded support contracts and software licenses with Oracle rather than Defendants.”
What? SAP and TomorrowNow had to cheat to get customers to move to TomorrowNow? The customers who make the switch all did so on the merits of the business model, to whit: 22% maintenance is too much to pay for an application that’s no longer strategic. There is nothing in Customer Connect that could help TomorrowNow steal customers -- the economic case for TomorrowNow's services speaks for itself.
“Defendants were aware of these economic relationships and intended to interfere with and disrupt them by unlawfully and wrongfully taking and using Oracle’s Software and Support Materials to obtain and retain Oracle’s own customers at little to no cost.”
Clearly TomorrowNow didn’t need Oracle materials to obtain customers – they had already signed them up in droves prior to November 2006, when the alleged downloading took place. The first part of the sentence is true -- everyone who watches Oracle knows that maintenance revenues are sacrosanct. But, again, Oracle's attempts to prove that stealing anything from Oracle could help win over a customer is going to be interesting to watch.
“As a result of Defendants’ acts, the above-described relationships have been actually disrupted, causing certain current and prospective support clients to contract with Defendants instead of Oracle for their software support and maintenance and, in some cases, for their enterprise software.”
In other words, something in the koolaid that TomorrowNow was able to mix based on their alleged knowledge of Oracle trade secrets made those poor companies become a TomorrowNow customer against their will. And weren't these already TomorrowNow customers? So if you're already a TomorrowNow customer how does ex post facto downloads cause you to drop Oracle?
Tell it to the judge.