BERLIN, May 13 (Reuters) - German software company SAP (SAPG.DE) and U.S. rival Oracle ORCL.O have asked for a delay of their first appearances in Oracle’s lawsuit against SAP by four months to June 2010.
“On Tuesday, May 12, Oracle and SAP jointly filed a stipulation in Oracle v. SAP to the court to extend the trial date,” SAP said in a statement on Wednesday.
The parties needed more time to “further explore various issues”, according to the court filing.
Oracle alleges that TomorrowNow, a U.S. subsidiary of Germany’s SAP, stole and misused its property by illegally downloading its customer-support materials in order to provide cut-price services for Oracle’s customers.
The case has sharpened the rivalry between SAP, the world’s biggest maker of process-automation software, and database giant Oracle, which has made a string of acquisitions to challenge SAP’s lead.
SAP bought TomorrowNow, a third-party provider of support for PeopleSoft and JD Edwards software, at the beginning of 2005, shortly after Oracle announced it would buy PeopleSoft, which had previously acquired JD Edwards.
SAP has acknowledged that TomorrowNow employees carried out some “inappropriate” downloads and has since wound down TomorrowNow’s operations, but denies amassing a library of Oracle materials for its own use. (Reporting by Nicola Leske, editing by Will Waterman)