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SAP slaps down Teradata's 'trade secret' sueball with sick burn

ERP giant: You're just mad because you've 'fallen behind'

SAP is pushing to have a lawsuit from competitor Teradata thrown out for good, arguing the claims are "factually groundless".

The suit, which Teradata filed in June, alleged SAP had "lured" it into a joint venture and used that to collate the firm's trade secrets in order to create the SAP HANA data platform.

It also made antitrust allegations claiming SAP had attempted to edge Teradata out of the market by locking customers into its tech, noting the German giant's ERP suite S/4HANA can only run on HANA.

However, SAP slammed these claims in a motion to have the case dismissed for once and for all, which was filed with the District Court of Northern California at the end of last month.

It argued the joint venture, known as the Bridge Project, started because Teradata "had a limited customer base" and wanted to appeal to SAP's users – but SAP painted Teradata's push as wildly unsuccessful, saying that just one customer signed up.

SAP had been working on its own database product for years before that deal, it said, and branded "the assertion that HANA is the result of anything but SAP's technological innovation, investment, and development is factually groundless".

Teradata was only bringing the lawsuit because it has "fallen behind" the competition, SAP claimed.

"Teradata has not been able to compete effectively with S/4HANA because it only focuses on its flagship analytical database and has failed to offer innovative and relevant compelling products," the filing stated.

SAP said Teradata's allegations that it was monopolising the enterprise data analytics and warehousing market also fell flat, arguing it had failed to even identify SAP's power in that market.

"The [complaint] alleges nothing more than that Teradata now has to compete in its favored marketplace," SAP said.

Regarding antitrust claims, SAP said Teradata "does not plausibly allege that SAP coerces its customers into purchasing HANA". It added assertions that S/4HANA unlawfully ties HANA to ERP software are misguided, as they aren't separate products.

Rather, it is one integrated product sold to customers as so, compared to separate ERP and database wares.

"Teradata's real complaint is that SAP chose to offer this integrated system with HANA, rather than integrating with Teradata's database; the antitrust laws, however, are designed to prevent injury to competition, rather than injury to competitors," SAP said.

In addition to refuting the claims, SAP argued the case should be tossed anyway, as Teradata had failed to meet various legal bars, including on statutory time limits and the level of detail set out in the complaint.

For instance, SAP said the US-based Teradata was vague about the "inefficiencies" it claims to have identified in SAP's systems it offered; failed to precisely identify what trade secrets were stolen; and failed to allege that SAP breached the contracts drawn up for the Bridge Project.

"To the contrary, much of what the [complaint] alleges as purported misconduct (which SAP denies) is expressly permitted by the relevant provisions of the Bridge Project Agreements," the ERP giant said.

However, further reference to contracts has been redacted in the document, and exhibits that are likely to be contracts have not been made public, as SAP has also filed a series of motions to seal these documents, which it said was at Teradata's request.

The case continues. ®

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