SAP Agrees To Pay Oracle $306M To Settle Download Lawsuit


SAP will pay Oracle $306 million in damages to settle the companies' long-running copyright infringement lawsuit.

Oracle, however, isn't giving up its appeal to have a jury's $1.3 billion award in the case reinstated, ensuring that the bitter dispute will continue.

"SAP believes this case has gone on long enough. Although we believe that $306 million is more than the appropriate damages amount, we agreed to this in an effort to bring this case to a reasonable resolution," SAP said in a statement issued late Thursday. "Whatever happens next, SAP will continue to focus on innovating for the benefit of our customers."

[Related: SAP Hit With $1.3 Billion Judgment In Oracle Copyright Infringement Suit]

The dispute dates to 2005 when SAP acquired TomorrowNow, a provider of support services for Oracle applications. Oracle sued SAP in 2007 arguing that TomorrowNow had downloaded copyrighted software and documents from Oracle support websites. SAP admitted liability in the case, but it argued that the billions in damages Oracle was seeking were excessive.

"The conduct that led to this lawsuit and jury award is truly unprecedented," said Bingham McCutchen attorney Geoff Howard, one of Oracle's attorneys in the case, in a statement issued late Thursday. "SAP’s web scraper alone resulted in more than 10 million copies of Oracle's downloaded software and support materials running on SAP's servers. SAP's executive management team, including former CEO Leo Apotheker and current executives, knew about this massive theft all along and SAP had to concede infringement. Don't underestimate how unusual the conduct underlying this suit was."

The case went to trial in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., in late 2010 and a jury found that SAP was liable for $1.3 billion in damages. But in September 2011 the judge in the case ruled that Oracle had failed to prove that the damages were that great and reduced the damages to $272 million.

Oracle is appealing that decision in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to get the $1.3 billion award reinstated.

SAP, meanwhile, had sought an entirely new trial in the case. By agreeing to pay $306 million in damages, SAP is dropping that effort, clearing the way for the case to move on to Oracle's appeal.

SAP has already paid Oracle $120 million in legal fees after the trial began, according to Oracle, pushing the total amount in the case to $426 million.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Oracle lost a court ruling to Hewlett-Packard in the two companies' legal dispute over Oracle's decision to stop developing software for HP's Itanium processor-based servers.

PUBLISHED AUG. 2, 2012