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Oracle to SAP: Don't Erase The Evidence

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Posted May 1, 2007 By Michael Hickins     Feedback

UPDATED: Oracle wants to ensure that SAP preserves evidence that it participated in "massive" theft.

UPDATED: Oracle  asked a judge to ensure that SAP  doesn't destroy evidence pertaining to the suit it filed against SAP in March for "massive" theft.Oracle said it filed the motion "to ensure that SAP is preserving the critical electronic records and data related to SAP's theft and misuse of Oracle's intellectual property," said Oracle attorney Dorian Daley in a statement provided to

"We believe an order is necessary because for the past six weeks, SAP has failed to address Oracle's requests for preservation of specific records," Daley said.

In its originalcomplaint, filed on March 22, 2007 in California's Northern District Court in San Francisco, Oracle accused the German software company of engaging in "systematic, illegal access" to its computer support systems.

In the latest motion, also filed in San Francisco, Oracle accused its rival of "stalling" and said "this failure to meet and confer about its preservation activities raises questions about whether SAP has in fact protected highly relevant evidence from alteration or destruction -- as the law and Oracle's proposed order require it to do."

"To make matters worse, SAP recently wrote to Oracle questioning its obligation to provide certain of those core materials in discovery," the motion continued.

Oracle also claimed that an internal investigation being conducted by SAP may "result in the alteration or destruction of critical electronic records."

Daley added that, "SAP's internal investigations could compromise important electronic evidence. Oracle seeks only that SAP comply with its preservation obligations under federal law," she said.

SAP, for its part, said it "intends to play by the rules," and, in a statement to, accused Oracle of "rushing to court" rather than settling procedural matters informally.

A spokesman with SAP added that "Oracle's tactics seem designed more for public relations impact rather than resolution of legal concerns."

He added that SAP will file a formal response "if and when Oracle files the amended version it has been promoting to the media."

Oracle and SAP came to a procedural agreement in the case on April 10, 2007, extending the amount of time SAP has to respond to the complaint. Oracle will file an amended complaint no later than May 18, and SAP will have 20 days from then to file its response.

Oracle's allegations of evidence-tampering resonate with echoes of past corporate misdeeds, but also reflect a changed compliance climate in which the need to preserve electronic documents have spawned a whole new generationof storage, search and retrieval software vendors.

Oracle and SAPalso both offer governance, risk and compliance suites to help companies deal with exactly the kind of issues reflected in Oracle's motion.

Storage giant EMC  has also entered the fray, and others are sure to follow.

You can read more about Oracle ERP here.

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