Oracle sues SAP for 'stealing software'

Oracle has filed a lawsuit against SAP, charging the German software giant with "corporate theft on a grand scale."

Oracle turned the heat up on its rivalry with SAP Thursday, taking the action away from products and acquisitions and into the courtroom.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company is charging SAP with "corporate theft on a grand scale," according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Among the charges, Oracle claims SAP stole copyrighted software and other proprietary information.

The 44-page complaint accuses SAP of violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, and intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage.

According to the brief, Oracle is accusing SAP of gaining access to its password-protected customer support systems and "stealing software products and other confidential materials that Oracle developed to service its own support customers."

"SAP gained repeated and unauthorized access, in many cases by use of pretext customer login credentials, to Oracle's proprietary, password-protected customer support Web site," the complaint said. "From that Web site, SAP has copied and swept thousands of Oracle software products and other proprietary and confidential materials onto its own servers."

An Oracle spokesman said people interested in learning more about the suit should visit Oracle's Web site. An SAP executive said the company had no comment at this time.

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The brief goes on to accuse SAP of compiling "an illegal library of Oracle's copyrighted software code and other materials," which SAP could then use to undercut Oracle's support prices in an attempt to attract customers.

Oracle is seeking repayment of attorneys' fees and undetermined damages from SAP.

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