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SAP admits to claims in Oracle lawsuit

Software giant SAP has admitted to 'inappropriate downloads' of data from rival Oracle's website.

Software giant SAP has admitted to ‘inappropriate downloads' of data from rival Oracle's website.

The admission came in response to a lawsuit filed by Oracle on charges of intellectual property theft on March 22.

In its first formal response to the lawsuit, the German firm yesterday disclosed that staff at its US subsidiary TomorrowNow had inappropriately downloaded material from Oracle's website.

SAP CEO Henning Kagermann apologised for the incident and said the firm had taken measures to strengthen its operational oversight at the subsidiary.

"Even a single inappropriate download is unacceptable from my perspective," he said in a statement. "We regret very much that this occurred."

The software maker said the subsidiary was authorized to download materials from Oracle's website, but that some inappropriate downloads of fixes and support documents had occurred.

In a few cases at the end of last year, employees at the subsidiary had used their clients' logins to download Oracle data that its customers were not entitled to access, Kagermann said on a conference call.

The software maker said the information stayed in the subsidiary and was not shared within the rest of SAP.

It said that the US Department of Justice had asked it hand over the internal documents, and that it intended to comply with the request.

The lawsuit is the latest incident in long running rivalry between the two firms for dominance in the enterprise applications space.

Oracle has spent US$20 billion in recent years acquiring companies in a bid to challenge SAP's lead in the business applications market.

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