Oracle lost bid to restore $1.3B SAP verdict

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Oracle lost bid to restore $1.3B SAP verdict
By Sanatan2014 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) failed to restore the $1.3 billion in damages awarded by a jury in connection with its copyright infringement case against SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) after a federal court of appeals rejected its motion, according to report from Reuters.

Oracle has option to accept lower amount or face new trial

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has two options—to accept a lower amount or face a new trial.

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In its ruling, the court of appeals explained that the jurors in the case used “undue amount of speculation” when they awarded a $1.3 billion in damages to Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) in 2010. At the time, SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) argued that it should only pay $40 million in damages to cover the lost profits of Oracle.

In 2011, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California rejected the $1.3 billion jury award and ruled that Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) deserved $272 million in actual damages.

“The award of hypothetical license damages totaling $1.3-billion was contrary to the weight of the evidence and was grossly excessive,” according to Judge Hamilton in 2011.

District judge made a mistake

The Court of Appeals also emphasized that Judge Hamilton made a mistake when she concluded that Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) deserve only $272 million of damages, which the company rejected. According to the court of appeals, Judge Hamilton made an error in concluding the Oracle only lost $36 million of profit since the right amount should have been $120.7 million.

Judge William Fletcher of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ordered Judge Hamilton to offer $356.7 million of damages to Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) or a second trial.

In 2007, Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) filed a copyright infringement case against TomorrowNow, a subsidiary of SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) for illegally downloading software and millions of support materials from Oracle’s websites.  Prior to the trial, SAP stated that it would not challenge “contributory infringement” in the case.

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