While SAP is looking to unload its TomorrowNow division in the wake of Oracle’s lawsuit against the company, there may be more to the story. Most think the two companies will settle, but as reported by MarketWatch yesterday, Oracle hints at a more serious charges in the latest filing from the trial.
Here’s what Oracle says in the document, filed with the court on January 29th:
Virtually all discovery sought and received thus far has centered on Oracle’s current allegations. However, in the process of conducting this discovery, Oracle has uncovered a broader program of copyright infringement that is entirely different from the scheme alleged in the current complaint.
Based on this evidence, Oracle is gathering additional facts and analyzing the need to file an amended complaint that will encompass these new claims. It expects soon to share a draft amended complaint with Defendants, and to seek their agreement to allow the filing. If Defendants do not agree, Oracle will seek leave from the Court to file the amended complaint.
Not surprisingly, SAP disputes Oracle’s new claim:
Oracle claims to need more time to present a further amended complaint, yet it has not provided even the barest description of its supposed new claims, either to the Court or to Defendants. While there may be some discovery disputes (which Judge Legge will handle), and Oracle may want to take some follow-up depositions, no developments have occurred which justify changing the case schedule or discovery limits.
As a result of these new accusations, Oracle is requesting another Case Management hearing in about 60 days, at which time it would, “be able to make specific proposals for extending the time and limits on discovery.”
When this case was first brought to court, SearchSAP.com interviewed Hillard Sterling, an IT litigator with Freeborn & Peters LLP, a Chicago-based law firm. When asked about what we should expect from the case he said that Oracle would try to keep the case in the news:
This is a great weapon for Oracle — it’s rare and beneficial when a company has a lawsuit that is only a sword and not a shield. Usually, counterclaims come flying back at a plaintiff. Here, however, Oracle has a unilateral set of claims that it can press ahead with, with little fear of boomerang counterclaims.
We’re going to see some aggressive discovery from both sides, especially from Oracle. It will get messy before it gets clean.
We should know more in 60 days, but it would appear, at this point, that Sterling is right on.