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Special Report: The trial begins in Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit

It’s been more than three years since Oracle filed a lawsuit against SAP alleging intellectual property theft. Read this special report for the history of the Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit.

Many in the industry never expected that Oracle and SAP would go to trial over an intellectual property theft case that’s endured more than three years. But beginning November 1, the enterprise software giants are doing exactly that.

In March of 2007, Oracle accused SAP’s now-defunct third-party support subsidiary, TomorrowNow, of intellectual property theft. Over the years, it has expanded its complaint to allege that SAP was complicit in the deal -- knowing TomorrowNow’s business model was illegal, and seeking to expand its business anyhow.

SAP denies the charges, and two years ago shut down TomorrowNow. It claims it never made any money from the endevour. In fact, SAP said it paid $10 million for the business which suffered $90 million in losses during its tenure as an SAP company and never led to the acquisition of any Oracle customers.

In this special report, catch up on the history of the case, and stay tuned for updates when the trial begins.

   Updates on the Oracle vs. SAP trial from around the Web coverage


   Milestones in the Oracle vs. SAP case

Aug. 18, 2010: Court limits scope, potential damages of Oracle lawsuit against SAP

A California U.S. District Court sided with SAP in the software maker’s push to limit the scope of potential damages in Oracle’s high-profile lawsuit against the company.

Aug. 5, 2010:Seeking speedy resolution to TomorrowNow case, SAP offers to pay up

Claiming that it never made any money from TomorrowNow or gained any Oracle customers from its acquisition of the third- party support vendor, SAP agreed to pay Oracle for copyright infringement and illegal downloading engaged in by its now- defunct subsidiary.

June 2008: Oracle claims SAP owes it $1 billion in lawsuit

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

October 2008: Oracle and SAP to talk settlement in TomorrowNow case

A federal judge ordered Oracle to come up with a figure by February that will settle its lawsuit against SAP.

October 2008: Oracle alleges SAP wanted to expand illegal TomorrowNow operation

Oracle has alleged that SAP was preparing to extend its illegal third-party support operation to Oracle's E-Business Suite and its Hyperion and Retek acquisitions, in court documents.

July 2008:Oracle outlines its case that SAP stole its underlying applications

Oracle accused SAP's subsidiary TomorrowNow of conspiring to hack into its support website not only to download its support materials but also to steal and store its underlying applications.

July 2008: SAP shuts down TomorrowNow

SAP brought to an end its difficult and expensive acquisition of TomorrowNow because it no longer wants a part of third-party support or the Oracle lawsuit that came with it, analysts and lawyers said.

November 2007: TomorrowNow executives resign as SAP ponders selling division

TomorrowNow's CEO resigned along with other senior executives and SAP revealed that it was considering selling the star-crossed unit.

July 2007: SAP responds to Oracle lawsuit, admits to inappropriate downloads

After months of back and forth on Oracle's lawsuit against SAP's TomorrowNow group, SAP issued a formal response, with its CEO candidly admitting to some "inappropriate downloads" of Oracle support materials.

March 2007: Oracle sues SAP for stealing software

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company charged 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 claimed SAP stole copyrighted software and other proprietary information.

January 2005: SAP acquires PeopleSoft support provider

SAP acquired TomorrowNow Inc., a third-party support provider for customers running PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards (JDE) software, and offered an incentive program in an attempt to lure customers away from software rival Oracle.

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