The Oracle case gets personal

Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.


JEREMY HOBSON: Silicon Valley's richest man, Larry Ellison takes the stand today in Federal Court in California. His data management company, Oracle, is suing software maker SAP. The case involves allegations of stolen computer codes.

But as Marketplace's Steve Henn reports from Silicon Valley, it's also getting personal.

Steve Henn: Larry Ellison's firm Oracle says that a tiny subsidiary of the German computing giant SAP stole Oracle software and used it for years with paying anything. SAP, which is one of Oracle's biggest rivals, has already admitted wrongdoing and has reportedly agreed to pay more than $100 million in legal fees.

But Ellison says SAP owes his company billions. Josh Greenbaum has been following the case at Enterprise Application Consulting.

Josh Greenbaum: It's not about the money. It's about public humiliation. It's about the art of war according to Larry Ellison.

Greenbaum says what Ellison really wants is to embarrass and distract SAP and the company's former CEO Leo Apotheker.

Apotheker just started work last week as Hewlett Packard's new CEO. Oracle's attorneys have been trying to issue him a subpoena for weeks. But they can't find him. HP says Apotaker wasn't involved in any wrongdoing -- but executives there refuse to discuss their new CEO's whereabouts.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.


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