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SAP accepts liability in Oracle copyright lawsuit

* Accepts liability for copyright infringement, downloads

* Says damages measure in tens of millions ‘at most’

* Oracle has said they exceed $1 billion

BOSTON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Business software maker SAP AG SAPG.DE accepted liability for copyright infringement in a lawsuit filed against it by archrival Oracle Corp ORCL.O.

SAP said on Thursday that it would accept financial responsibility for “mistakes” made by its TomorrowNow subsidiary, which Oracle accused of “corporate theft on a grand scale” in a lawsuit that is due to heard on Nov. 1.

Oracle, which battles with SAP in the market for software that helps companies automate business functions, filed the lawsuit three years ago accusing SAP of gaining repeated and unauthorized access to its password-protected customer support Web site.

Oracle said that access allowed SAP to copy thousands of Oracle software products and other confidential materials onto its own servers and compile an illegal library of copyrighted software code.

In pre-trial documents filed in the federal court in California, SAP said that it would not contest its liability for TomorrowNow’s copyright infringement or downloading activity.

“Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation, for which SAP will accept ultimate financial responsibility,” SAP said in the filing.

The two companies remain far apart on the issue of compensation. SAP said that it places Oracle’s damages in the tens of millions of dollars, “at most.” Oracle has said it may seek more than $1 billion in damages.

An Oracle spokeswoman declined comment.

The case is: Oracle Corp, Oracle USA Inc and Oracle International Corp vs SAP AG, SAP America, Inc TomorrowNow Inc and Does 1-50, number: 4:07-CV-01658-PJH in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Reporting by Jim Finkle, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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