Ex-Oracle President Phillips Testifies at SAP Trial

Former Oracle Corp. president Charles Phillips started testifying at the trial of the company’s copyright infringement lawsuit against SAP AG, to be followed by Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison on Nov. 8.

Oracle, the second-largest maker of software for business applications behind SAP, sued its competitor in 2007. It seeks at least $2.3 billion in damages for what a former SAP unit acknowledges were fraudulent downloads of Oracle software that infringed Oracle copyrights. The trial began this week in federal court in Oakland, California.

Ellison said in an Oct. 26 statement that Oracle plans to produce evidence that Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Leo Apotheker was involved in an effort to steal Oracle software while at SAP.

HP says Apotheker had a limited role in the SAP software maintenance unit where the downloads took place, and claims Ellison is seeking to harass him.

HP yesterday refused to accept service of a subpoena requiring Apotheker to testify at the trial. SAP said the jury will be shown a videotaped deposition of Apotheker.

Geoffrey Howard, an Oracle attorney, told U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton that Nov. 8 is his best estimate for when he will call Ellison as a witness. Hamilton asked about high- profile witnesses to make arrangements for potential media interest.

The case is Oracle Corp. v. SAP AG, 07-01658, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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