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Oracle aims to drag HP into SAP legal spat

Court case alleging industrial espionage by Leo Apotheker begins November 1

Oracle aims to drag HP into SAP legal spat
HP's new CEO Leo Apotheker is being accused of industrial espionage by Oracle chief Larry Ellison.

According to Bloomberg, Oracle Corporation Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison said his company will show evidence that Hewlett-Packard's new CEO was involved in trying to steal Oracle software while at former employer SAP AG.

"A few weeks ago I accused HP's new CEO, Leo Apotheker, of overseeing an industrial espionage scheme centering on the repeated theft of massive amounts of Oracle's software," Ellison said in a statement quoted by Bloomberg.

Oracle intends to present evidence at a trial that starts on November 1, Ellison said.

HP has allegedly replied to these allegations by saying that Oracle is attempting to harass Apotheker, who had limited knowledge of the case.

SAP, who is fighting the amount of damages Oracle is seeking in a 2007 lawsuit, accused Ellison of using the trial as part of a personal crusade against HP. HP’s former CEO, Mark Hurd was hired as Oracle’s president last month.

Ellison has allegedly chided HP’s board for how it handled Hurd’s departure.

"Oracle had ample opportunity to question Leo during his sworn deposition in October 2008 and chose not to include him as a trial witness until he was named CEO of HP," HP said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. "Given Leo's limited knowledge of and role in the matter, Oracle's last-minute effort to require him to appear live at trial is no more than an effort to harass him and interfere with his duties and responsibilities as HP's CEO," HP told Bloomberg.

Apotheker oversaw SAP's first revenue fall since 2003 and resigned as CEO the German software maker in February this year after his contract was not renewed. Hurd resigned as HP's chairman and CEO following a company investigation into sexual harassment allegations. Investigations discovered inaccurate expense reports filed by Hurd or on his behalf that concealed a personal relationship with the event organiser and marketing contractor Jodie Fisher, according to Bloomberg.

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