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The 10 Ugliest Legal Disputes Of 2011

IT vendors routinely trash-talk their competition -- that's part of the marketing game. But you find out what competing vendors really think about each other when the lawsuits start. Here's what we considered to be the nastiest legal disputes of the year.

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7. Oracle And SAP Haggle Over Damages

This case that has dragged on since March 2007 may be drawing to a close with only the amount of damages SAP owes Oracle left to be decided.

In 2005 SAP acquired TomorrowNow, which provided services for Oracle customers. Oracle sued claiming that TomorrowNow illegally obtained Oracle software and support materials from Oracle web sites. The case, officially a copyright infringement issue, finally went to trial last year and in November a U.S. District Court jury in Oakland, Calif., sided with Oracle, awarding a stunning $1.3 billion in damages.

SAP, which shut down TomorrowNow, has acknowledged that the subsidiary unlawfully obtained the materials, but has argued the true damages were far less. In July, a U.S. District Court judge agreed and reduced the damages to $272 million. The two sides are trying to negotiate a compromise.

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