SAP asks for gag order in legal battle with Oracle

LOS ANGELES, Oct 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Attorneys for SAP AG
(SAP.DE: ) have asked a federal judge for a gag order during the
upcoming trial in an intellectual property theft case stemming
from a lawsuit by software company Oracle (ORCL.O: ).

The move followed a column by New York Times columnist Joe
Nocera in which he suggested that former SAP chief Leo
Apotheker had known about the theft at a subsidiary called
TomorrowNow and had initially done nothing about it.

Oracle has accused SAP — through the now-defunct
TomorrowNow — of gaining unauthorized access to its customer
support website, allowing SAP to copy thousands of software
products and other confidential material.

SAP has accepted liability for copyright infringement in
the lawsuit, which is set to go to trial in November and will
determine how much SAP should pay in damages.

Apotheker was hired late last month as the new CEO of
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N: ), although he does not officially start
until Nov. 1. HP has defended Apotheker, saying Oracle has
offered no evidence he was involved in the matter.

In a five-page court motion filed late on Friday, lawyers
for SAP argued that articles like the one published in the New
York Times had the potential to influence the jury.

They asked U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton to order
that lawyers for both sides be prohibited from making
statements to the media outside court.

Lawyers for SAP pointed out that Nocera was the fiance of
the publicist for Oracle’s lead counsel.

In an editors’ note published several days after the
article, the Times said Nocera learned only after writing it
that his fiancee’s firm represented Oracle.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney)

SAP asks for gag order in legal battle with Oracle