The copyright infringement battle between Oracle and German business software company SAP ended after 7 years with a settlement agreement which requires SAP to pay the American tech behemoth $359 million in damages and interest. This Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit was triggered in 2007 by SAP’s subsidiary TomorrowNow, which was accused by Oracle of having illegally downloaded Oracle software, instruction manuals and other technical information using Oracle customers’ license keys.
TomorrowNow is now a defunct company, as SAP shut it down, but back in 2008, it came forward confessing the copyright infringement and the illegal download of Oracle software and accompanying materials in order to offer client support to its own customers. As the case developed, SAP admitted liability for its own subsidiary and thus ended up in a court trial. Back then, a jury evaluated the damages at the sum of $1.3 billion and decided to award Oracle this amount. This was happening in 2010 and SAP referred to this award as being “excessive.”
Indeed, this sum was also considered too much by U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, who overruled the jury’s verdict in 2010 and gave Oracle a choice: seek a new trial or settle for smaller damages, which she quantified at $272 million. Oracle went to court again and tried to reinstate the original damages awarded in 201o by an appeal, but the appeal court rejected the motion and again advised Oracle to choose between two options: go to trial again or settle for $356.7 million in damages with added $2.5 million in interest.
The Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit ended with the American corporation agreeing to the last offered (and buffed) amount and not spend more years in court rooms. On the other hand, Oracle also got to keep the $120 million SAP already paid to them as lawyers’ fees for the trial. All in all, Oracle left the court with more money than the last award option. SAP also declared they were very pleased with the way the Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit ended and that the American company finally agreed to put these problems behind them.
This lawsuit mainly revolved around the damages SAP should pay Oracle, since the third party culprit, TomorrowNow admitted guilt and SAP ended the subsidiary and assumed liability. According to Oracle representatives, the company is
“thrilled about this landmark recovery and extremely gratified that our efforts to protect innovation and our shareholder’s interests are duly rewarded.”
This isn’t Oracle’s last adventure, however, as the Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit was just a drop in the ocean. Oracle is engaged in a legal battle against third party software support outfit Rimini Street, whom they accuse of “massive theft of Oracle’s intellectual property” and Oracle IP pinching.