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Ellison grilled on $4bn SAP 'theft' claim

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was cross examined on Monday during the ongoing cat fight between Oracle and rival SAP.

An SAP attorney grilled Ellison over claims that in pilfering Oracle intellectual property, SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow cost his company up to 30 per cent of PeopleSoft and 15 per cent of Sieble customers.

The model of calm in an Oakland, California court room, according to AllThingsDigital, the Oracle chief said his company was concerned that nearly $4bn worth of customer relationships were at risk because of TomorrowNow's actions.

SAP's attorney asked Ellison why Oracle's internal communications didn't reflect such concerns.

"I tend not to write those things down... I did not write down what I thought was a worst-case scenario," Ellison said, according to MarketWatch.

He added: "I publicly told SAP they had to respect our intellectual property."

In 2005, Ellison said that SAP had every right to support Oracle customers, but he warned them: "That's our intellectual property, and they should be cautious."

Under cross-examination on Monday, Ellison asked whether he knew why any Oracle customer had left for TomorrowNow. Ellison said he knew of no specifics.

SAP's subsidiary eventually lured away 300 Oracle customers, Ellison said when asked how many customers made the switch.

"That's nowhere close to 20-30 per cent of the PeopleSoft customer base, is it?'" SAP's legal eagle asked. "No," Ellison replied, according to Bloomberg. ®

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