John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Oracle Rests SAP Case, Slams HP CEO

Just a day or so left now before the jury in the Oracle-SAP trial begins its deliberations. Oracle called its last rebuttal witness early Friday and closing arguments will soon follow. In the end, Oracle opted not to show former SAP chief Léo Apotheker’s videotaped deposition following the advice of lead attorney David Boies, who last week suggested leaving the Hewlett-Packard CEO’s role in all this to jurors’ imaginations might be a better move strategically than showing them Apotheker’s now very dated testimony.

Indeed, speaking to reporters in the courtroom hallway this morning, Boies said that the evidence Oracle presented during the trial proved that Apotheker had knowledge of the copyright infringement scheme at issue in the case. “The testimony and evidence prove that Mr. Apotheker oversaw the copyright infringement scheme,” Boies said. “We did not show the 2 year old video deposition because it was taken before SAP stipulated to liability.”

Of course if Apotheker was as pivotal a figure as Boies maintains, one would think that there would at least be some content in his video deposition worth showing the jury. Certainly, that’s the view of SAP, which continues to maintain that Oracle’s repeated shots at Apotheker are more about the PR trial being conducted outside the courtroom than anything else.

“Today’s proceedings focused on the damages, and we remain confident that we have demonstrated a clear case for fair compensation to Oracle for the limited operations of TomorrowNow,” an SAP spokesperson said in a statement. “We trust now in the jury to bring this matter to an appropriate conclusion.”

HP has not yet commented on Boies’s remarks. The company reports earnings next week, and Oracle would obviously not be unhappy if any of this legal unpleasantness happened to lodge in investors’ minds.

UPDATE: Here’s HP’s official comment: “Oracle’s current stance is clear proof that they have been trying to harass Léo and interfere with his work at HP. As HP has said repeatedly, Oracle had ample opportunity to question Léo in the two years after he gave a full-day deposition. Léo was never asked to give an additional deposition. As HP and SAP have noted, Oracle chose not to include Leo as a live trial witness until after he was named CEO of HP. Léo had a limited role in the matter.”


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald