Enterprise System Spectator blog: ERP and enterprise system vendor evaluation, selection, and implementation.

The Enterprise System Spectator

Saturday, March 24, 2007

SAP subject to criminal charges?

John Pallatto brings up some interesting points in an opinion piece for eWeek on Oracle's lawsuit against SAP alleging theft of Oracle's intellectual property (IP). If Oracle is successful in its civil lawsuit, it probably opens up SAP--and individuals within SAP--to criminal prosecution.

He writes,
The next question that comes to mind is whether any of this activity, if it occurred, was done with the knowledge and approval of top SAP executives, or whether it was some mindless rogue operation carried out at SAP's TomorrowNow subsidiary in Texas.

If Oracle can prove its civil charges that SAP employees systematically looted intellectual property from the Web site, the next step could be state and federal investigations that could result in indictments.

Unless SAP can come up with some plausible explanation as to why people inside its organization were apparently downloading "vast libraries" of Oracle products, a lot of SAP jobs, reputations and cash could go down the drain. The very existence of the company would conceivably be threatened by this brewing scandal.
I did a quick check for cases of criminal IP theft and found this news site on intellectual property cases, which is maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). In addition to cases related to counterfeiting of branded products and software piracy, there are also examples such as these:
These are all criminal cases, which means the defendents could potentially face fines and jail time. There are many, many more examples on the DoJ website. (I should emphasize that the last two cases mentioned above are only indictments, and that the charges have not yet been proven in court.)

So, Oracle's civil complaint against SAP is serious, and it would appear it could lead to criminal charges.

Pallato also brings up an interesting point regarding Oracle's investigative strategy. He writes,
It's clear that rather than block the expired and bogus customer accounts from accessing the Web sites, Oracle chose to quietly monitor and trace the activity to investigate who was doing it and why. The results are this lawsuit.
It appears that Oracle has known about SAP's alleged downloading of Oracle materials for some time. But instead of locking the door, it continued to monitor these activities, building its case. If true, SAP has handed Oracle a potent weapon in the form of this lawsuit.

I've also been wondering about the apparent lack of security in Oracle's customer support website. Apparently, anyone with a customer ID could download anything, even materials for which the customer was not licensed--even internal documents that no customer was authorized to receive. If Oracle took such little care to protect its intellectual property, could that be a point that SAP could use in its defense?

Yesterday, SAP responded to Oracle's complaint to say that it would fight the lawsuit. "SAP will not comment other than to make it clear to our customers, prospects, investors, employees and partners that SAP will aggressively defend against the claims made by Oracle in the lawsuit," SAP's Steve Bauer said in a statement.

The discovery phase of this litigation is going to be interesting, potentially even more interesting than the DoJ's failed attempt to block Oracle's takeover of PeopleSoft.

Related posts
Oracle sues SAP and its TomorrowNow unit

by Frank Scavo, 3/24/2007 05:20:00 PM | permalink | e-mail this!

 Reader Comments:

Post a Comment
 

Links to this post:


 

Powered by Blogger

(c) 2002-2016, Frank Scavo.

Independent analysis of issues and trends in enterprise applications software and the strengths, weaknesses, advantages, and disadvantages of the vendors that provide them.

About the Enterprise System Spectator.

Frank Scavo Send tips, rumors, gossip, and feedback to Frank Scavo, at .

I'm interested in hearing about best practices, lessons learned, horror stories, and case studies of success or failure.

Selecting a new enterprise system can be a difficult decision. My consulting firm, Strativa, offers assistance that is independent and unbiased. For information on how we can help your organization make and carry out these decisions, write to me.

My IT research firm, Computer Economics provides metrics for IT management, such as IT spending and staffing benchmarks, ROI/TCO studies, outsourcing statistics, and more.


Go to latest postings


Search the Spectator!
Join over 1,700 subscribers on the Spectator email list!
Max. 1-2 times/month.
Easy one-click to unsubscribe anytime.

Follow me on Twitter
My RSS feed RSS News Feed

Computer Economics
ERP Support Staffing Ratios
Outsourcing Statistics
IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks
IT Staffing Ratios
IT Management Best Practices
Worldwide Technology Trends
IT Salary Report

Get these headlines on your site, free!


Awards

2014 Best Independent ERP Blog - Winner

2013 Best ERP Writer - Winner

Alltop. We're kind of a big deal.
 
Constant Contact 2010 All Star Technobabble Top 100 Analyst Blogs


Key References
Strativa: Business strategy consulting, strategic planning
Strativa: IT strategy consulting
Strativa: Business process improvement, process mapping, consultants
Strativa: IT due diligence
Strativa: ERP software selection consulting and vendor evaluation
Strativa: CRM software selection consulting and vendor evaluation
Strativa: Project management consulting, change management
StreetWolf: Digital creative studio specializing in web, mobile and social applications
Enterprise IT News: diginomica


Spectator Archives
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
February 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
Latest postings