Update: Judge overturns Oracle's $1.3B award against SAP
SAP has been granted a new trial in the corporate theft lawsuit Oracle brought against it
IDG News Service - A federal judge has overturned the $1.3 billion judgment Oracle won against SAP in its corporate theft trial, according to a ruling made Thursday.
SAP had admitted liability for illegal downloads of Oracle software and support materials performed by a former subsidiary, TomorrowNow, which provided lower-cost support for Oracle applications, but decried the jury's award as far too large.
Judge Phyllis Hamilton also approved SAP's request that Oracle accept a lower award of US$272 million, which would negate the need for a new trial.
Oracle had argued that SAP should pay damages based on "hypothetical" costs that SAP would have had to pay to license the software legally.
In her ruling, Hamilton strongly rebuked that line of reasoning and called the jury's award "grossly" excessive.
"The court finds that the $1.3 billion verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence," Hamilton wrote. "Rather than providing evidence of SAP's actual use of the copyrighted works, and objectively verifiable number of customers lost as a result, Oracle presented evidence of the purported value of the intellectual property as a whole, elicited self-serving testimony from its executives regarding the price they claim they would have demanded in an admittedly fictional negotiation, and proffered the speculative opinion of its damages expert, which was based on little more than guesses about the parties' expectations."
"At the same time, Oracle urged the jury to disregard evidence of Oracle's actual customer losses resulting from infringement," she added. "Thus, the verdict grossly exceeded the actual harm to Oracle in the form of lost customers, which was quantified by Oracle's expert at $408.7 million, and alternatively at $272 million, and by SAP's expert at $28 million."
However, Oracle is still entitled to receive compensation from SAP, given that it has already admitted liability, but the amount of damages should be in the form of lost profits or infringer's profits, Hamilton wrote. "A contrary result would be unjust and would constitute a miscarriage of justice."
Oracle indicated it may appeal the ruling.
"There was voluminous evidence regarding the massive scope of the theft, clear involvement of SAP management in the misconduct and the tremendous value of the IP stolen. We believe the jury got it right and we intend to pursue the full measure of damages that we believe are owed to Oracle," a spokeswoman said in a statement.
"We are very gratified with the Court's decision," an SAP spokesman said in a statement. "We believed the jury's verdict was wrong and are pleased at the significant reduction in damages. We hope the Court's action will help drive this matter to a final resolution. SAP is focused on our customers and innovation as opposed to litigation."
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Aberdeen Group: Marketing Analytics for Manufacturing: Forging Customer Insights There are no recalls for poor marketing. Manufacturers need to get their customer intelligence and messaging right the first time. Learn how.
- The Brave New World of Customer-Centric Manufacturing The Unique Opportunity for Manufacturers to Better Understand their Consumers
- See the Possibilities Utilizing Data Visualization Do you simply want to collect data, or do you want to derive business insights from it? What if you could quickly and...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All IT Industry White Papers | Webcasts