SAP ordered to pay Oracle 1.3 billion dollars

November 24th, 2010 - 10:10 am ET by C. D.

In the affair which has opposed Oracle against SAP, the second party has finally been ordered to pay 1.3 billion dollars in damages for the theft of industrial secrets via TomorrowNow.

Oracle LogoSAP has been hit hard while their competitor Oracle is rather satisfied. The process was to decide the amount of damages that SAP was to pay Oracle after it was recognised that intellectual property was stolen via the company TomorrowNow. The verdict has now been handed down.

While SAP’s lawyers had estimated that the damages were in the tens of millions of dollars, the sum finally handed down as a fine was 1.3 billion dollars following the legal process which began last week. During this process, both the presidents of Oracle and SAP were called on to be witnesses, but Leo Apotheker, president of SAP at the time the crime took place, and now CEO of HP, failed to appear at the case.

The final amount is a lot closer to that demanded by Oracle, who estimates that 1.7 billion dollars is the equivalent of a license for SAP to use the technology, making their use of the technology legal. To this we can add that SAP will pay 120 million dollars to Oracle for their legal costs.


Oracle finally gains cause
For Oracle, and their director Larry Ellison, this is a major victory with the fine being a new record. From their side, SAP states that they are disappointed in the verdict and have announced that they will use any method available to appeal the decision. During the process, their lawyers estimated the damages to be 41 million dollars, suggesting that the intellectual property obtained illegally hadn’t really been exploited, with very few of Oracles clients having made the change to SAP.

The affair will probably provide some American enterprises with food for thought as this may set the precedent for them to take intellectual property disputes to the courts to either protect their rights or at least be used as a pressure point on their competition, even if the majority of these kinds of lawsuits are settled in a friendly manner.

In the case of SAP and Oracle, the litigation has been ongoing for a number of years and has only just been resolved. This now opens the way for Oracle to develop software that competes with SAP which may lead to SAP suffering for a few years from a diminished public image.

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