Judge denies most SAP motions to dismiss in Oracle suit

Judge denies most SAP motions to dismiss in Oracle suit

A judge has denied SAP's motion to dismiss some parts of rival software maker Oracle's lawsuit against it.

A judge has rejected most of the motions made by SAP to dismiss parts of rival software maker Oracle's lawsuit against it, according to the decision filed Monday in U.S. District Court-California Northern District.

Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton upheld SAP's motion to dismiss copyright infringement claims by two Oracle entities, JD Edwards Europe Limited and Oracle Systems Corporation. But the judge denied SAP's motion to dismiss other claims, including breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

SAP had also argued that a number of state law claims -- including interference with prospective business advantage and unfair competition -- should be dismissed on grounds they were preempted by the U.S. Copyright Act.

Oracle asserted in turn "that each of the challenged claims has 'extra elements" making the claims 'not equivalent to' rights protected under the Act." Hamilton denied SAP's motion on those claims "except as to the extent that the state law claims are based on the alleged copyright infringement."

TomorrowNow, which SAP bought in 2005 and has since closed down, provided third-party support for Oracle applications, including PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Siebel. Oracle filed suit in March 2007, claiming that TomorrowNow workers illegally downloaded material from Oracle's support systems and used them to court Oracle customers.

Oracle has also claimed that with the knowledge of SAP's executive board, SAP workers "made thousands of copies of Oracle's underlying software applications on its computer systems," and that SAP used Oracle's code for training, customer service and "generally to support a business model that was illegal to its core."

SAP has acknowledged that TomorrowNow staff members made "inappropriate downloads" from Oracle's Web site, but strongly rejected Oracle's claims of a broader pattern of wrongdoing.

In a statement, SAP said it was "gratified that the Court agreed with SAP's position regarding the copyright claims that were dismissed" and though disappointed it did not prevail on all counts, looks forward to " working with the Court to achieve the proper resolution of this case."

An Oracle spokeswoman declined comment on Tuesday.

SAP's response to Oracle's third amended complaint in the case is due by Dec. 30. A trial date has been set for February 2010.

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