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Oakland jury decides SAP owes Oracle $1.3 billion [Updated]

SAP must pay $1.3 billion to Oracle Corp. for copyright infringement, a federal jury in Oakland decided Tuesday.

The verdict in the high-profile court case that pitted two business software giants against each other is one of the largest ever for copyright infringement.

The eight-person jury awarded the damages one day after the companies presented closing arguments.

Oracle sued SAP in 2007 claiming that its now-defunct U.S. business software unit, TomorrowNow, illegally downloaded Oracle software and documents and supported Oracle customers. SAP bought TomorrowNow in 2005 and closed it in 2008.

SAP did not contest that it was liable for the infringement, but estimated that it owed between $28 million and $41 million to Oracle. Oracle, however, estimated that SAP owed as much as $3 billion.

In a statement, an SAP spokesman said: "We are, of course, disappointed by this verdict and will pursue all available options, including post-trial motions and appeal if necessary. This will unfortunately be a prolonged process and we continue to hope that the matter can be resolved appropriately without more years of litigation."

[Updated 4:14 p.m.: In a statement, Oracle President Safra Catz said: "For more than three years, SAP stole thousands of copies of Oracle software and then resold that software and related services to Oracle's own customers. Right before the trial began, SAP admitted its guilt and liability; then the trial made it clear that SAPs most senior executives were aware of the illegal activity from the very beginning. As a result, a United States federal court has ordered SAP to pay Oracle $1.3 billion. This is the largest amount ever awarded for software piracy."]

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-- Jessica Guynn

 
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