Oracle claims SAP owes it $1 billion in lawsuit

Oracle, in a recent court filing, estimates that SAP owes it at least $1 billion for copyright infringement in its TomorrowNow lawsuit

Oracle this week claimed in its lawsuit that SAP owes it at least $1 billion in damages for copyright infringement.

Oracle, which filed the lawsuit in March, claims that TomorrowNow Inc. illegally downloaded support materials to sell them at half price to Oracle customers. SAP bought TomorrowNow, a provider of third-party support for Oracle applications, in July 2005.

"It appears Oracle's damages are, at a minimum, well into the several hundreds of millions of dollars and likely are at least a billion dollars," Oracle lawyers wrote in a joint discovery statement filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday.

SAP responded by questioning the basis of Oracle's estimate.

"Oracle's complaints about 'fair play' are belied by its own rhetoric about alleged damages," an SAP statement said. "Oracle speculates wildly about the amount of its damages 'claim' in this discovery report."

In addition to alleging that TomorrowNow -- which provides discounted support for Siebel, JD Edwards and PeopleSoft applications -- illegally downloaded materials from Oracle's customer support website, Oracle also says that it plans to bring further accusations in an amended complaint, which hasn't yet been filed.

Oracle plans to accuse TomorrowNow of stealing its underlying software applications, not just its support materials, according to court documents. It says TomorrowNow warehoused these applications as "generic software environments" and used them to service other customers, train employees and create SAP-branded fixes.

According to court documents, Oracle will also claim that SAP executives knew TomorrowNow's business model was illegal when they acquired the company but -- for business purposes -- failed to do anything about it.

SAP has denied the claims but said that Bryan, Texas-based TomorrowNow may have downloaded some inappropriate items. SAP maintains that it never saw those items because they remained in TomorrowNow's system and claims that the majority of TomorrowNow's downloads were legal.

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