SAP has formally apologised for the improper downloading of Oracle customer information by its TomorrowNow unit.
The data was used in the setting up of the TomorrowNow business, and lies at the heart of the court case between the two companies.
The apology came in court yesterday from SAP co-chief executive Bill McDermott who, when asked whether he wanted publicly to make amends, said: "I am sorry."
"McDermott apologised after an exchange with Oracle attorney David Boies, who asked him if SAP had ever apologised for the copyright infringement," reported Reuters. "McDermott said 'No'. Boies asked him if he would like to do it in the courtroom."
SAP was not responsible for the theft in the first instance, as it acquired TomorrowNow only after the firm had been set up and the data taken. McDermott was not even on the SAP board when the acquisition took place. However, he was keen to make amends.
The Reuters report said that McDermott sees the acquisition as something of a mistake, and was never keen on the position in which it placed SAP.
Asked whether he made any notes about these views, or put them on record, he explained that he had not.
"I didn't because I always thought TomorrowNow was a rounding error and somewhat of a distraction," he said. "The fact that we're all here [in court] in the first place makes it very clear to me that it was a mistake."
SAP has accepted liability for the TomorrowNow downloads, but neither party has been able to agree on an amount for reparation, according to the report.
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said last week that the theft had led to lost sales worth £2.47bn, but was unable to provide any evidence to justify the figure.
V3.co.uk asked SAP for comment on its admissions, but had not received a reply at the time of publication.
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