Oracle, SAP lawsuit may expand to Hyperion, Retek and the E-Business Suite

With no settlement yet, Oracle may seek more information from SAP on some of Oracle's other products.

Hyperion, Retek and the Oracle E-Business Suite could become part of the TomorrowNow lawsuit, according to court documents.

Oracle Corp. and SAP AG haven't reached a settlement in Oracle's lawsuit against SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow, the two vendors announced Monday after a joint settlement conference. And according to a document filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco, Oracle is attempting to file its fourth amended complaint and intends to ask SAP to produce documents related to those software lines.

"Oracle intends to move to compel Defendants to produce documents related to additional software lines (Seibel [sic], eBusiness Suite [sic], Hyperion and Retek)," SAP's attorneys wrote in the documents in a section referencing the case schedule. "So, rather than focusing its claims and discovery in the case, Oracle seeks to endlessly broaden and lengthen this case."

Oracle is accusing TomorrowNow of hacking into its support website to not only steal support materials, but also to steal and store Oracle's underlying applications, according to an amended complaint filed in July. Since it filed its lawsuit against SAP in March 2007, Oracle has amended its complaint three times, each time making more accusations against the now-defunct TomorrowNow.

SAP said it has made more than 9 terabytes of data on 39 servers available for Oracle's remote review, a process that began in mid-July.

TomorrowNow, which SAP announced in July it would shutter by the end of October, provided third-party support for Siebel, JD Edwards and PeopleSoft products. Hyperion, a performance management software vendor, and retail software vendor Retek are owned by Oracle, and the E-Business Suite is an Oracle product. But none of those lines were supported by TomorrowNow, according to the company's website.

Analysts interviewed aren't surprised that the Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit didn't wrap up neatly after SAP announced it would close TomorrowNow.

"It would have been surprising if this case settled so quickly," said Hillard Sterling, an attorney who specializes in information technology litigation at Chicago-based Freeborn & Peters LLP. "If [Oracle] really wants to get to the bottom of the activity at issue, there's no incentive for it to settle."

Moreover, Oracle's enjoying the attention.

"Oracle wants to fight SAP on every front it can: in the marketplace and in court," said Marc Songini, an analyst at Boston, Mass.-based Nucleus Research Inc. "Oracle has always been a relentless fighter against its competitors. Whatever the merits of the suit, this is hurting SAP's reputation, costing it legal dollars and, at least to some degree, siphoning away internal resources."

Sterling agreed.

"There's definitely a competitive interest here," he said. "Oracle has a one-way PR street here -- that this case harms SAP's names with little risk of backlash against Oracle. The only expenses are the attorneys' fees and cost, which pale in comparison to the competitive and legal benefits."

Next Steps

With no tomorrow for TomorrowNow, third-party support still in demand

SAP responds to Oracle lawsuit, admits to "inappropriate downloads"

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