Oracle appeals liability limits in TomorrowNow suit

Oracle is to request to appeal the ruling in its lawsuit with SAP over TomorrowNow copyright claims by its subsidiaries.

Oracle's lawsuit alleges that SAP orchestrated and profited from illegal Oracle support downloads made by its now-defunct, third-party support subsidiary, TomorrowNow.

In December last year, the US judge hearing the case partially dismissed Oracle's third amended complaint, striking copyright claims for Oracle subsidiary, JD Edwards (JDE) and corporate entity, Oracle Systems Corporation (OSC).

The court did allow Oracle's claims of unjust enrichment, breach of contract and copyright infringement for a number of separate Oracle entities to stand.

Even so, the US software giant filed a motion for permission to appeal the court's JDE and OSC rulings this week.

SAP said today that it would respond to Oracle's motion according to the schedule to be set by the court, where a proposed hearing is set for 4 March.

At the same, SAP has stepped up its own attempts to widen the scope of the case in order to limit its liability. While admitting last year to discovering some "inappropriate downloads" on the part of TomorrowNow employees, it has denied any intentional copyright infringement.

To this end, a filing by SAP with the court on 16 January follows up a subpoena issued in November to CedarCrestone, another of Oracle's third-party support providers, about its relationship with Oracle.

The filing argued: "The mere fact that customers have options for support from Oracle partners (rather than obtaining support services directly from Oracle) may prove that customers would have left Oracle to get support elsewhere regardless of the activities of TomorrowNow."

The German software firm wants the court to make CedarCrestone reveal documents pertaining to its support arrangements covering Oracle's PeopleSoft software range.

A trial date is set for 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.