Oracle Corp. (ORCL), which lost a shot in August at reinstating a $1.3 billion damages award against SAP SE, accepted $359 million to end its copyright lawsuit against the German software company and forgo a new trial.
The agreement brings to a close a dispute that arose seven years ago between Oracle and Walldorf, Germany-based SAP, the biggest supplier of back-office business-management software.
Oracle sued SAP in 2007, saying a Texas unit of the German company made hundreds of thousands of illegal downloads and several thousand copies of software that it used to market maintenance services to customers who ran programs from firms that Oracle had taken over. A jury awarded $1.3 billion in damages based on the value of a hypothetical license that SAP would have negotiated for using Oracle’s copyrighted software.
The federal judge in Oakland, California, presiding over the case ruled the verdict was excessive and reduced it to $272 million, drawing an appeal from Oracle. A federal appeals court in San Francisco in August found the jury award was based on speculation, while ruling that the trial judge’s reduction was too low, and gave Oracle the choice of accepting $356.7 million or seeking a new trial.
“We are thrilled about this landmark recovery and extremely gratified that our efforts to protect innovation and our shareholder’s interests are duly rewarded,” Dorian Daley, Oracle’s general counsel, said in an e-mail. “This sends a strong message to those who would prefer to cheat than compete fairly and legally.”
SAP will pay $356.7 million plus $2.5 million in interest, according to a court filing today.
“We are also pleased that, overall, the courts hearing this case ultimately accepted SAP’s arguments to limit Oracle’s excessive damages claims and that Oracle has finally chosen to end this matter,” Saswato Das, a spokesman for SAP, said in an e-mail.
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