Reading about the drama between Oracle and SAP, it's hard to remember this is intellectual property theft litigation and not a soap opera.
First, Oracle attorneys told the judge that HP CEO and former SAP exec Leo Apotheker would indeed testify in the case. After Oracle CEO Larry Ellison made such a public fuss about calling him to the stand, how could they not?
Then there were reports that HP refused to accept the subpoena for Apotheker and that the company's board of directors was hiding the new chief executive. But since Ellison also very publicly suggested that board chairman Ray Lane keep Apotheker away from HP property until the case was over, I don't see how anyone could realistically claim to be surprised. Oracle says it will continue to work to locate and serve Apotheker.
According to Reuters, HP spokesperson Mylene Mangalindan said:
Given Leo's limited knowledge and role in the matter, Oracle's last-minute effort to require him to appear live at trial is no more than an effort to harass him and interfere with his duties and responsibilities as HP's CEO.
Then came news that SAP has agreed to pay Oracle $120 million if Ellison's company does not seek punitive damages in the suit. Reuters reports that taking punitive damages "off the table" allows SAP to further limit the scope of the evidence the jury will be allowed to hear.
The companies still dispute the appropriate amount of compensatory damages SAP owes Oracle for intellectual property stolen by now-defunct SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow.