Verdict in Oracle-SAP suit poses threat to IT

Some fear acrimony could hurt sites using both vendors' software; analysts predict problems for third-party support industry

Last month's federal jury verdict awarding Oracle Corp. $1.3 billion in its corporate theft lawsuit against SAP AG could prove harmful to both enterprise users and third-party support providers, analysts and IT executives say.

Oracle filed the lawsuit against SAP in 2007, charging the German vendor's now-shuttered TomorrowNow subsidiary with the electronic theft of "thousands of proprietary, copyrighted software products and other confidential materials" used by Oracle's support organization.

SAP indicated that it will appeal the award, which several analysts called excessive in light of the small size of TomorrowNow.

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