Late yesterday, more information came out about Oracle’s lawsuit against SAP. Nothing too exciting, mostly timeline and scope issues.
The trial date has been set for February 9, 2009. Oracle was looking for a September 2009 start. According to this Bloomberg.com article, SAP seemed pleased:
“The judge has found a reasonable means for a speedy trial,” SAP’s Walldorf, Germany-based spokesman Frank Hartmann said in a phone interview today. “He also found it reasonable to limit the discovery phase and that is overall sensible.”
Seems funny that February 2009 is considered “speedy,” but what do we know? So, we checked in with Hillard Sterling, an IT litigator with Chicago’s Freeborn & Peters LLP, who has weighed in on the lawsuit before to get his $.02. Here’s what he had to say:
The judge’s schedule is aggressive yet manageable given the circumstances. This case will require both parties to produce and examine millions of pages of documents, then depose witnesses with the key documents, the interesting needles in the massive haystack. It will take tremendous effort to get all those documents by July 2008, and then absorb the information and take the many depositions. That being said, the schedule is realistic, and the parties should be able to accomplish their tasks and prepare for the trial set for February 2009.
Does this trial date or the limiting of witness interviews (20 for each side) and forensic experts (3 each) have an impact on the assumption by many that the case will be settled before ever getting a verdict?
“Of course, it is likely that the case would settle sometime before trial, or maybe even during it,” Sterling said. “We probably won’t see any settlement, though, until the parties make significant inroads through discovery and gather the evidence that they believe will exact the most settlement leverage.”