November 19, 2010 / 8:22 PM / 9 years ago

Oracle-SAP testimony wraps without HP CEO showing

OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - Testimony in a trial pitting Oracle Corp against SAP AG wrapped up on Friday without former SAP chief and current Hewlett Packard CEO Leo Apotheker appearing.

Leo Apotheker attends a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in this January 28, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

Closing arguments are slated for Monday. SAP and Oracle, which compete against each other in the market for software that helps businesses run more efficiently, are in court to determine the amount of damages for software theft by SAP.

After weeks of jousting about the role played by Apotheker — named CEO of Hewlett-Packard in October — the German executive did not appear at the trial, though Oracle said in its opening argument that he would.

During the closely watched trial, Oracle linked Apotheker to the operations of the SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow which wrongfully downloaded millions of Oracle files. But they did not appear to produce evidence to prove he knew about the theft.

SAP has accepted liability for its TomorrowNow subsidiary having downloaded Oracle files, but argues that it should pay compensation of about $40 million, while Oracle insists on at least $1.6 billion.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has publicly charged Apotheker with overseeing an “industrial espionage scheme” centered on stealing Oracle’s software. SAP and HP have characterized the Apotheker issue as a sideshow, and say Oracle has offered no proof to back up its allegations about him.

Oracle attorney David Boies had said he might play a videotaped deposition of Apotheker during their rebuttal case, which wrapped up on Friday, if they were unable to serve him with a subpoena.

But he contended on Friday that Oracle had already proved Apotheker oversaw the scheme. Asked outside the courtroom why he did not play the deposition, he told reporters that it was two years old and “really didn’t add anything.”

HP reiterated its position that Apotheker had a “limited role in the matter.”

“Oracle’s current stance is clear proof that they have been trying to harass Leo and interfere with his work at HP,” a Friday statement read. “Oracle had ample opportunity to question Leo in the two years after he gave a full-day deposition. Leo was never asked to give an additional deposition.”

Oracle has accused Apotheker of evading its attempts to subpoena him since he began his job as CEO of HP on November 1.

During his testimony last week, Ellison said his company would have charged SAP $4 billion to license the programs that were wrongfully downloaded. Oracle’s own expert later pegged damages at $1.6 billion.

SAP should have to pay Oracle no more than $40.6 million to resolve their years-long lawsuit over software theft, an SAP damages expert said on Tuesday.

Closing arguments in the case begin on Monday, with jury deliberations to begin afterward.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Oracle USA Inc, et al. v. SAP AG, et al, 07-1658.

Reporting by Gabriel Madway. Editing by Robert MacMillan

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