Bloomberg News

Oracle Claims $777 Million Damages in SAP Infringement Case

May 02, 2012

Oracle Corp. signage is displayed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photographer: Ariana Lindquist/Bloomberg

Oracle Corp. signage is displayed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photographer: Ariana Lindquist/Bloomberg

Oracle Corp. (ORCL:US) said it will claim damages of $776.7 million in its retrial of a copyright- infringement lawsuit against SAP AG (SAP), the biggest maker of business-management software.

Oracle decided in February to pursue a new trial rather than accept U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton’s reduction of a 2010 jury verdict the company won from $1.3 billion to $272 million. The retrial is scheduled for June 18 in Oakland, California.

Oracle said in a court filing that it has a right to pursue actual damages measured by the “fair market value of the rights infringed.” To do so, the company has asked Hamilton, to let it present evidence of a “hypothetical license” that would establish that value. If not, Oracle said, it will pursue damages based on $656 million in SAP’s profits and $120.7 million in Oracle’s lost profits, according to the April 26 filing.

Oracle said its damages claim will be supported at trial by an “updated analysis and additional evidence to support the infringers’ profits and lost profit amounts.”

“We think Oracle’s damage estimate is overstated,” Jim Dever, a spokesman for Walldorf, Germany-based SAP, said in an e-mail. SAP estimates damages at $28 million, he said.

Downloaded and Copied

Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, sued (ORCL:US) in 2007 after discovering that SAP’s software-maintenance unit had downloaded and copied its software. SAP didn’t contest that it was liable for the infringement by its TomorrowNow unit, which the company closed in 2008.

The jury award of $1.3 billion was based on the value of a hypothetical license that SAP would have needed to use Oracle’s software. Hamilton threw out the verdict, calling it “grossly excessive” and not supported by the evidence.

TomorrowNow pleaded guilty in September to U.S. charges of unauthorized computer access and SAP paid the unit’s $20 million fine.

The civil case is Oracle Corp. v. SAP AG, 07-1658, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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