Shuttered SAP subsidiary charged in Oracle theft

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A week after a big win against Oracle, German software maker SAP AG has been dealt a new blow in a theft case involving a now-defunct subsidiary.

The Justice Department has criminally charged the SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, with 12 counts related to the theft of software and documents from Oracle Corp. websites in a 4-year-old case.

The theft, which SAP has acknowledged, led to a $1.3 billion jury verdict against SAP last year. Last week, a federal judge threw out the award, calling it “grossly excessive.” Unless Oracle accepts a lower, $272 million award, a new trial will be ordered in the civil case.

The criminal charges were filed Thursday. SAP will be on the hook for penalties, but the proposed amount is under seal. SAP agreed to a plea deal and sentencing is set for Wednesday.

The case stems from Oracle’s discovery that TomorrowNow performed massive downloads of documents that were intended for Oracle customers. Oracle argued that SAP used the stolen information to steal customers. SAP argued that TomorrowNow didn’t steal many customers with the information, and should only have to pay $40 million for accounts it did manage to lure away.

A jury awarded Oracle more than 30 times that amount in November, one of the largest verdicts in a case involving software-related theft.

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