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Ellison takes stand to demand billions from SAP

Simon Quicke

The temperature in the court room battle between SAP and Oracle is being turned up with the claims by Larry Ellison that its rival downloaded software that was worth billions.

The Oracle boss put a value of $4bn on the software downloaded by a subsidiary, TomorrowNow, of SAP and although the German software player admitted the error Ellison believes that it was part of a strategy to undermine his firm.

Ellison was repeating a figure that his former president Charles Philips told the court last week in the opening days of the trial after the former Oracle man said it would have charged between $4 to $5bn to SAP for the rights to use the software that was downloaded.

But everyone was waiting for Ellison to take the stand and he didn't disappoint describing his rival as "brilliant"and then repeating Philip's estimate of damages.

"The acquisition of TomorrowNow was a brilliant idea and we were at grave risk, depending on what they did with it," he said.

Ellison has also made it clear that they want Leo Apotheker, former CEO of SAP but now boss at Hewlett-Packard, to also take the stand but so far Oracles's lawyershave not been able to subpoena him. 

The trial, which started last week, continues.

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