Oracle has won a record ten-figure damages for copyright theft from rival SAP, but the German software giant is steeling itself for a lengthy fightback.
Jurors in the US Federal Court case yesterday decreed that SAP pay Oracle $1.3bn (£820m). The case relates to files illegally downloaded by software support firm TomorrowNow, which SAP acquired five years ago.
The judgement is much closer to Oracle's assessment of the severity of the crime than it is to SAP's. Oracle had been pushing for a payment of at least $1.6bn. SAP has admitted liability, but the vendor believed it should have to cough up no more than about $40m.
In a statement issued today, SAP stressed its intent to continue the fight.
"We are, of course, disappointed by this verdict and will pursue all available options, including post-trial motions and appeal if necessary," said the statement. This will unfortunately be a prolonged process and we continue to hope that the matter can be resolved appropriately without more years of litigation.
"The mark of a leading company is the way it handles its mistakes. As stated in court, we regret the actions of TomorrowNow, we have accepted liability, and have been willing to fairly compensate Oracle."
Oracle president Safra Catz issued the following statement: "For more than three years, SAP stole thousands of copies of Oracle software and then resold that software and related services to Oracle's own customers. Right before the trial began, SAP admitted its guilt and liability; then the trial made it clear that SAPs most senior executives were aware of the illegal activity from the very beginning."
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