TomorrowNow lawsuit mediation fails

Oracle and SAP have said settlement talks in the TomorrowNow lawsuit failed to reach any conclusive agreement.

The lawsuit, which alleges that employees of the third-party Oracle support subsidiary owned by SAP illegally downloading confidential data, has been ongoing for nearly 18 months now.

The judge presiding over the case ordered the case into mediation in February. But the software competitors finally sat down to unsuccessfully try and hammer out an agreement to end the litigation earlier this week in the offices of the US district court in San Francisco where Oracle filed the suit.

According to a joint discovery statement filed for the mediation session, Oracle recently took depositions in the case from SAP chiefs, Henning Kagermann and Leo Apotheker, but it is still waiting to question other executives, including former president Shai Agassi.

The statement also said that SAP made nine terabytes of documentation available for Oracle's review. But there was disagreement between the vendors over which documentation is relevant to the case and how Oracle should be able to access them.

Oracle had previously said its own investigations had uncovered systemic unauthorised access to product information outside the remit of providing third-party support to customers.

SAP last year admitted to discovering some "inappropriate downloads" of Oracle code by TomorrowNow staff. But it has said repeatedly that it was keen keen to settle the case as early as possible, announcing its intention to wind up the troubled subsidiary after failing to find a buyer for it in July this year.

Meanwhile, Oracle has steadily increased the scope of its lawsuit, claiming that SAP executives sanctioned the illegal access to Oracle product information to win more customers from its software rival.

The next stage for litigation is a discovery conference scheduled for Friday, followed by a conference call with the district court on 20 October. Meanwhile, the lawsuit is currently expected to have a trial date of February 2010.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.