SAP Will Seek Reduction Of $1.3 Billion Judgment In Oracle Lawsuit

SAP is vowing to oppose the $1.3 billion jury verdict in Oracle's software copyright infringement lawsuit against the company. Nevertheless, SAP took a charge of 980 Euros ($1.34 billion) against earnings for fiscal 2010 to cover the judgment.

"SAP intends to file post-trial motions in the coming weeks asking the court to reduce the amount of damages awarded or to order a new trial," the company said Wednesday in a statement accompanying its earnings results for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter and full year. "Depending on the outcome of the post-trial motion process, SAP may consider an appeal."

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 SAP reported sales of 4.06 billion Euros ($5.55 billion), up 27 percent from 3.19 billion Euros ($4.36 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2009. That included a 35 percent increase in software sales to 1.51 billion Euros ($2.06 billion), due in part to the company's July acquisition of infrastructure software vendor Sybase.

SAP reported an after-tax profit of 437 Euros ($597.6 million) for the fourth quarter, down 36 percent from one year earlier because of the charge for the Oracle litigation.

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In November a jury ordered SAP to pay Oracle $1.3 billion in damages following a three-week trial in U.S. District Court jury in Oakland. Oracle had sued SAP charging that SAP's now-shuttered TomorrowNow services subsidiary illegally downloaded software and support documents from Oracle Web sites.

NEXT: Financial Fallout From The Oracle Lawsuit

SAP acknowledged at trial TomorrowNow's illicit activities, but maintained the damages were not worth the billions of dollars sought by Oracle. "SAP has great respect for the U.S. legal system and court decisions. However, SAP believes that the amount awarded by the jury in Oracle v. SAP/TomorrowNow is disproportionate and wrong," the company said in its earnings statement.

The judge who oversaw the trial has yet to enter his final judgment in the case, after which SAP said it would seek to reduce the damages or get a new trial. If those motions fail SAP said it would likely appeal the jury verdict.

While the final outcome of the case remains uncertain, SAP said it opted to provide for the verdict in its fiscal 2010 results with the 980 Euro charge against earnings. For the year the company reported sales of 12.46 billion Euros ($17.04 billion), up 17 percent from 10.67 billion Euros ($14.59 billion) in 2009. That included a 25 percent increase in software sales to 3.27 billion Euros ($4.46 billion) from 2.61 billion Euros ($3.56 billion) in 2009.

Even after the charge for the Oracle lawsuit judgment SAP recorded a 4 percent increase in profits for fiscal 2010 to 1.82 billion Euros ($2.48 billion) from 1.75 billion Euros ($2.39 billion) in 2009.

SAP's 2010 financial results marked a significant improvement over 2009 when software sales plunged 28 percent and total revenue dropped 8 percent. That performance ultimately led to the departure of CEO Leo Apotheker, who was hired in September by Hewlett-Packard to be that company's new CEO.

Earlier this month SAP completed a reorganization of its field operations, including naming four new presidents to oversee the company's sales, channel, go-to-market and customer service operations.