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Opening Arguments to Start in Oracle-SAP Trial

Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Tuesday in a corporate espionage trial involving two of the world's biggest business software makers.

Oracleand archrival SAPwill argue in an Oakland court over how much SAP should pay for a subsidiary that stole Oracle customer-support documents from password-protected Web sites.

SAP has acknowledged the theft but said it didn't know it was happening until after Oracle sued in 2007. SAP has since shut down the problem subsidiary. The fight now is over the size of damages.

The trial could produce fireworks if one witness Oracle wants to call—Hewlett-Packard new CEO, Leo Apotheker, who was previously SAP's CEO—winds up taking the stand. HP hasn't said whether Apotheker will be in the U.S. and subject to Oracle's subpoena.