John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Oracle-SAP Verdict: SAP Owes Oracle $1.3 Billion

Billions or millions. That was the central question in the Oracle vs. SAP case and in the end, the jury determined its answer to be billions with “b.” For the theft of Oracle’s intellectual property by its now shuttered TomorrowNow division, SAP must pay Oracle $1.3 billion.

This in addition to the $120 million in attorneys’ fees SAP agreed to pay when the trial first began.

SAP, which believed that the damages amounted to about $28 million, had argued that Oracle was looking for an undeserved bonanza out of the jury, while Oracle contended the market value of licensing the IP was between $1.65 billion and $3 billion.

As Nucleus Research’s Rebecca Wettemann notes, the damage award is “a drop in the bucket” to Oracle, but a stern warning to the industry. Looking forward, she said, “You have to bet Oracle will be reminding customers they’re choosing between thought leaders and intellectual property thieves–and what that indicates more broadly about how SAP does business.”

In a statement issued after the verdict , SAP was contrite:

“We are, of course, disappointed by this verdict and will pursue all available options, including post-trial motions and appeal if necessary. This will unfortunately be a prolonged process and we continue to hope that the matter can be resolved appropriately without more years of litigation. The mark of a leading company is the way it handles its mistakes. As stated in court, we regret the actions of TN, we have accepted liability, and have been willing to fairly compensate Oracle. Throughout this matter, our customers, employees and partners have stood by us and, for that, we are grateful. Our focus now is looking forward, helping our customers be best run businesses, and extending our legacy of industry leadership well into the future. We thank the jury for its diligent service through this lengthy trial and the Court for its supervision of this complex case.”

On behalf of Oracle, President Safra Catz sounded as clinical as Jack Webb wrapping up an episode of “Dragnet.” “For more than three years, SAP stole thousands of copies of Oracle software and then resold that software and related services to Oracle’s own customers,” she said in a statement. “Right before the trial began, SAP admitted its guilt and liability; then the trial made it clear that SAP’s most senior executives were aware of the illegal activity from the very beginning. As a result, a United States Federal Court has ordered SAP to pay Oracle $1.3 billion. This is the largest amount ever awarded for software piracy.”


[Image credit: Pre-Ellison Samurai image by Artem Mirolevioch]