Monday, September 12, 2011

Oracle vs SAP: damages reduced

The ongoing saga of SAP versus Oracle took a huge turn - or rather drop - in SAP’s favour earlier this month, when the $1.3bn payout (decreed in November last year), was over turned.

The damages were awarded for copyright infringement, following Oracle’s claim that SAP’s TomorrowNow software-maintenance unit had illegally downloaded and copied its own software.

However, the jury this time round had a different view, as the court statement made clear, ‘the verdict grossly exceeded the actual harm to Oracle’.

SAP are said to be ‘gratified’, but how do Oracle feel about the new offer of $272m? Considering Paul Meyer, Oracle’s damage expert, outlined a sum of $1.66 billion, the mood at the software giant cannot be a good one.

US district judge Phyllis Hamilton, overturned the original sum describing it as ‘grossly excessive’. She also made it clear that if Oracle objected to her ruling, there should be a new trial.

SAP said, “We believed the jury's verdict was wrong and are pleased with the significant reduction in damages. We hope the court's action will help drive this matter to a final resolution."

Whether Oracle accepts this drop in compensation is another matter. Larry Ellison may not be a happy man.

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