Oracle Accuses SAP of Massive 'Corporate Theft'

Accusing its competitor of "corporate theft on a grand scale," business software rival Oracle sued SAP on Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

The Redwood Shores, Calif. company claims that SAP used the access codes of its customers to gain access to the company's servers and then download copyrighted material. It further alleges that the company kept a large library of Oracle's property on its own servers.

Oracle seeks an injunction preventing any future access by SAP to its support system, and seeks unspecified damages and court costs.


SAP so far is not commenting publicly on the allegations. On the other hand, Oracle has set up a Web site detailing the suit, and looks to be set to take on the company in public.

"This case is about corporate theft on a grand scale, committed by the largest German software company -- a conglomerate known as SAP," Oracle wrote in its complaint.

Among the accusations listed in the 44-page complaint are pretexting methods used to gain access to Oracle's password protected customer support website; downloading of copyrighted software; theft of support documents and materials.

In one case, Oracle alleged a SAP computer in the US logged on as Honeywell International and downloaded documents on nearly the entire line of Oracle products, even above and beyond what the client was authorized for.

Oracle estimates that SAP may have downloaded illicit material as many as 10,000 times. "In short, to try to 'keep the pressure on Oracle,' SAP has been engaged in a systematic program of unfair, unlawful, and deceptive business practices that continues to this day," it argued.

Among the laws Oracle alleges that SAP has broken include the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and California Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, Unfair Competition, Intentional and Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage and Civil Conspiracy.

No date for a hearing has been set.

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