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Rival acknowledges downloads from Oracle

July 04, 2007|From the Associated Press

FRANKFURT, GERMANY — Software company SAP, responding to a lawsuit filed by Oracle Corp., acknowledged Tuesday that one of its units made "inappropriate downloads" of its rival's computer code for fixes and support documents.

SAP said it never had access to Oracle's intellectual property, even as SAP Chief Executive Henning Kagermann vowed to keep "all options open" to settle the case.

The legal battle underscores an increasingly cutthroat battle between the two competitors.

Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle has accused Walldorf, Germany-based SAP of "corporate theft on a grand scale," claiming that SAP obtained secret product information so it could reel in customers. The lawsuit was filed March 22 in San Francisco federal court.

In its formal response, SAP "acknowledged that some inappropriate downloads of fixes and support documents occurred at TomorrowNow," a Texas-based customer support unit authorized to download materials from Oracle's website. But it maintained that the data remained within that unit's system and that SAP did not have access to Oracle's intellectual property.

"Even a single inappropriate download is unacceptable from my perspective," Kagermann said. "We regret very much that this occurred."

SAP and TomorrowNow have been asked by the Justice Department to provide documents related to claims made by Oracle in its lawsuit, the company said. Oracle lawyer Geoff Howard said his company would be cooperating with the investigation.

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