Eye on Oracle

Oct 22 2008   8:32AM GMT

Will Oracle and SAP agree on a settlement?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

Ever since Oracle filed its $1 billion lawsuit against rival SAP last year, it seems like the only news we hear coming out of the never-ending case makes it even more complex.

But an end may be in sight.

In a move that may settle the case up to a year before its scheduled February 2010 trial date, a federal judge has ordered Oracle to give a settlement price. On Monday, Judge Joseph Spero told Oracle to name a specific dollar amount by Feb. 13, and SAP will have until the 18th to respond with a counterproposal. A settlement conference is scheduled for Feb. 23.

Oracle claims that TomorrowNow, SAP’s third-party support subsidiary that it has since shut down, illegally downloaded Oracle support materials and created thousands of copies of Oracle’s actual software applications.

While Oracle has yet to comment, SAP made the following statement after hearing Judge Spero’s request: “It is in everyone’s best interest to bring this case to an appropriate resolution without undue delay.”

But just how eager are they to resolve it?

Earlier this month, Oracle and SAP held settlement talks but once again failed to reach an agreement, continuing to argue about which SAP documents are relevant to the case and how Oracle should have access to them.

And just last week, SAP asked for limits in the lawsuit, in order to “avoid bogging down proceedings” and make sure the case focuses on the issues that are “”legally relevant and truly in dispute.” SAP also stated: “Oracle has sought to make this case as large and complex as possible by expanding its claims beyond what the law allows.”

What do you think? Will this order do any good? Can the two sides finally agree on a settlement, or will we continue to hear more of the same? What does it mean for Oracle customers and third-party support?

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