Oracle loses bid to restore $1.3 billion SAP verdict, could get new trial
By Jonathan Stempel and Dan Levine
(Reuters) - Oracle Corp (ORCL.N: Quote) failed to revive a $1.3 billion jury verdict in its long-running copyright dispute with German software company SAP SE (SAPG.DE: Quote) as a U.S. appeals court said Oracle must choose to accept a lower amount or face a new trial.
In a ruling on Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said jurors used "an undue amount of speculation" in awarding $1.3 billion in damages in 2010.
But the court found U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, had erred in concluding that Oracle deserved only $272 million of damages, a sum Oracle rejected.
Writing for a three-judge 9th Circuit panel, Judge William Fletcher directed Hamilton to offer Oracle a choice of $356.7 million of damages or a second trial.
In a statement, Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said the company is "thrilled about this landmark recovery." Asked whether Oracle will accept the $356.7 million or proceed to another trial, a company spokeswoman declined to comment.
SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said the ruling is favorable and "shows the strength of our position."
The case involved SAP's TomorrowNow unit, which the German company had bought to provide software support to Oracle customers at lower rates than what Oracle charged, hoping to persuade them to become SAP customers.
Oracle sued SAP in 2007 after noticing thousands of suspicious downloads of its software. Continued...