Oracle Scoffs at $272 Million Award from SAP, Seeks New Trial

Paul Lilly

Oracle wants no part of a court-ordered $272 million award levied against SAP AG for copyright infringement and will the roll the dice on a retrial instead. The $272 million verdict is a little more than a billion dollars less than what Oracle was originally owed until U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton cut the original $1.3 billion award in September of last year, calling it "grossly excessive."

"Oracle’s objective is to obtain clarification of the law and, if it is right about what the law is and what the evidence supports in this case, to vindicate the verdict of the jury and Oracle’s intellectual property rights as a copyright owner," Oracle attorney Geoffrey Howard said in a federal court filing yesterday, Bloomberg reports .

SAP said it was "disappointed" with Oracle's decision to start the whole legal process anew rather than accept the multi-million dollar verdict. Oracle, meanwhile, claims it was backed in a corner where it had "no choice but to elect a new trial, as accepting the remittitur would force Oracle to risk waiving its right to appeal the Court's decision."

At issue is a "hypothetical" license Oracle wants to charge SAP. Oracle convinced a jury that SAP's now defunct TomorrowNow business illegally downloaded code, and it sought up to $4 billion in damages. SAP was thinking something in the range of $40 million, plus another $120 million for legal fees. Oracle was willing to accept the $1.3 billion verdict, but not the reduced figure of $272 million because it doesn't add up to what a valid license would have run if TomorrowNow obtained the software legally.

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