Oracle amends complaint in SAP suit

Oracle details new charges, alleges SAP's TomorrowNow copied materials to the point of repeating errors from originals.
Written by Dawn Kawamoto, Contributor
Oracle amended its lawsuit against SAP on Friday, alleging its rival copied its software and support materials to the point of repeating minor errors it had in the original versions.

Oracle, which in March filed a lawsuit against SAP and its wholly owned subsidiary TomorrowNow, alleges TomorrowNow copied and stored its proprietary software and support materials when accessing its system. TomorrowNow, a competing third-party support and maintenance provider, targets Oracle's PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Siebel customers.

Under the amended complaint, Oracle has added allegations that TomorrowNow violated its copyrights and breached contracts.

SAP's TomorrowNow, as with other third-party support and maintenance providers, is generally allowed to access a company's systems to retrieve the needed information that is covered in that customer's contract. Oracle, however, alleges TomorrowNow systematically accessed its files and software to a level far beyond what the contract called for.

Oracle, for example, created a Daylight Saving Time (DST) document with instructions on how to conform Oracle's software to the new daylight saving time change. But the software maker alleges TomorrowNow copied the information on two occasions in January and swapped out Oracle's logo and copyright and placed its own logo on the documents.

"SAP TN's (TomorrowNow's) copied version even includes minor errors in the original DST Solution that Oracle later corrected. SAP TN's version also substitutes an SAP TN logo in place of the original Oracle logo and copyright notice," Oracle said.

SAP plans to defend itself against the charges.

"SAP plans to respond to the amended complaint by July...in accordance with the court's schedule. At that time, SAP will set the record straight regarding Oracle's allegations," Steve Bauer, an SAP spokesman, said in a statement. "We are eager to vigorously defend this case."

In citing other allegations, Oracle pointed to a case involving its former support and maintenance customer Yazaki North America, a large automotive parts supplier based in Michigan.

"In the month leading up to the expiration of Yazaki's support rights for its Oracle products, users employing Yazaki's 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 supply company supporting its U.S. business," Oracle stated.

During a two-week period in late December, users with Yazaki's credentials allegedly downloaded 11,000 distinct software and support materials. Of these items, Yazaki did not have a license for 1,500 of them, Oracle said.

SAP plans to respond to Oracle's amended complaint by July 2.

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