An appeals court sitting in San Francisco, California, on Friday rejected a bid by Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) to legally compel its arch rival and former close partner SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) to pay $1.3 billion in damages in a long legal battle pitting the two software giants.
The case commenced in 2007 after Oracle sued SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) in copyright related charges. Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) had noticed that SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) customers were illegally downloading its software. The two companies failed to agree on damages to be paid by SAP SE, compelling Oracle to seek court redress.
In the verdict, Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) was directed to either accept lower amount in terms of damages or face fresh trial. The court indicated that the initial award of $1.3 billion in damages was too high and a clear indication of use of excessive level of speculation.
The verdict however brought a new twist to the case after the appellate judge further declared that U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, sitting in Oakland, California, made a mistake in asserting that the $.13 billion award was too high and that the total sum in damages should be $272 million.
In the ruling on behalf of a three-judge 9th Circuit panel, Judge William Fletcher gave a declaration that Hamilton should award Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) $356.7 million in damages or a new trial. The court pronounced that Hamilton made an error in stating that Oracle had lost only $36 million in profit, saying that the appropriate amount is indeed $120 million.
According to an article posted by bloomberg.com, SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) is very happy with the verdict.
“We are extremely pleased with the court’s decision,” said Andy Kendzie, an SAP spokesperson.
In another article published by cnbc.com indicated that an effort to secure a comment from Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger was futile.
This article has been written by Victor Ochieng.
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