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SAP to pay Oracle $306 million to end copyright infringement fight

SAP has agreed to pay at least $306 million to Oracle Corp. to resolve the ongoing copyright dispute that began when an SAP unit illegally downloaded and copied a piece of Oracle software

It certainly sounds like the Redwood City-based Oracle has come out the winner in this copyright infringement situation. Back in 2010, a jury awarded it $1.3 billion in damages, but a judge reduced that award to $272 million. Oracle naturally was not happy with such a reduction, so it asked for a new trial instead.

SAP, however, wanted to spare itself "the time and expense of this new trial" and so agreed to pay at least $306 million.

The reason we say "at least" is that Oracle will file for an appeal with a San Francisco court, asking to have the $1.3 billion verdict reinstated. If, for some reason, Oracle loses out and is awarded less than $306 million, SAP will pay it $306 million anyway. In a rather stiffly worded statement, an SAP spokeswoman said the company feels $306 million "is more than the appropriate settlement amount," but added that the company just wants to move past this long-running copyright dispute.

SAP, which is Oracle's biggest competitor in the software market, closed TomorrowNow, the division that illegally downloaded and copied a piece of Oracle's software, back in 2008. Oracle has said TomorrowNow was trying to get around having to pay license fees. It also alleged that TomorrowNow was trying to swipe customers via underhanded methods.

Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek, "SAP Agrees to Pay Oracle $306 Million for Copyright Breach," Karen Gullo and Cornelius Rahn, Aug. 3, 2012

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