Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SAP challenges the court

Last week, a Californian court issued its final judgment on the alleged theft of Oracle code by SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow. The final cost to SAP is the £806m ($1.3bn) fine with legal fees and interest of over £80m (nearly $135m) added on top.

SAP, however, is not happy. They plan to argue that the considerable fine is not reflective of the offence – they may even ask for the trial to run again.

“As stated before, we have accepted liability for the actions of TomorrowNow and have been willing to fairly compensate Oracle, but we believe that the amount awarded by the jury is disproportionate and wrong," SAP said in a statement.

The statement went on to say that SAP is allowed to file ‘post-trial motions’ to the trial judge – which the company plans to do shortly. SAP want the court to reduce the damages that the jury has awarded Oracle. Thinking beyond the reaction of the judge, SAP is already considering an appeal.

The trial has been far from friendly – Ellison is not shy with his thoughts about wanting Leo Apotheker (SAPs ex chief executive) to take the stand.

TomorrowNow was found guilty of copyright infringement and Ellison quoted losses of up to £2.47bn ($4bn) – SAP requested a limitation on the fine of up to £25m ($40m) and always claimed they were willing to fairly compensate Oracle. With the fight not over, the final payment cannot be set in stone.

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