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Larry Taunts HP: ‘Time to Change Your Tagline from Invent to Steal’

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has issued his second statement in two days

Five days before jury selection starts in the Oracle v SAP trial in Oakland, California, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison issued his second statement in two days, this one attacking HP chairman Ray Lane as a liar and painting incoming HP CEO Leo Apotheker, SAP's ex-CEO, as being "on the run" from having to testify about his involvement in the great rip-off of Oracle IP by SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow.

Here is Larry's Wednesday statement in full:

"HP Chairman Ray Lane has taken the position that Leo Apotheker is innocent of wrongdoing because he didn't know anything about the stealing going on at SAP while Leo was CEO. The most basic facts of the case show this to be an absurd lie. Oracle sued SAP for stealing in March of 2007. Leo became CEO of SAP in April of 2008. Leo knew all about the stealing. In fact, Leo did not stop the stealing until 7 months after he became CEO. Why so long? We'd like to know. Ray Lane and the rest of the HP Board do not want anyone to know. That's the new HP Way with Ray in charge and Leo on the run. It's time to change the HP tagline from ‘Invent' to ‘Steal.'"

Tuesday Ellison said in another equally provocative statement that Oracle had proof Apotheker oversaw SAP's "industrial espionage scheme" and planned to trot it out in court.

HP has yet to say whether Apotheker will testify but it doesn't sound likely.

In response Tuesday to Ellison's taunting that HP would keep Apotheker off the stand, the company said, "Given Leo's limited knowledge of 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."

Apotheker officially starts as HP CEO Monday, the beginning of HP's fiscal year and the day the trial starts. When he got the job he said he would spend the first few weeks or months globetrotting, talking to HP staff, customers and shareholders. Maybe that was a just device to stay out of town long enough to avoid the trial. The court date has been set for a long time and Apotheker was on Oracle's witness list before he was tapped to run HP. HP refuses to say where he is.

The trial is supposed to decide how much SAP owes Oracle in damages, billions or tens of millions.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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