September 4, 2012
Oracle Takes SAP Back To Court, Wants Even More Money
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The recent courtroom battles between Apple and other companies, such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung has caused many to cast aspersions against the iPhone maker. According to these critics, Apple is spending too much time in court, chasing down these companies for an extra pay day.These critics may not have heard about Oracle´s courtroom drama with German-based competitor SAP.
Oracle has been entangled with SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow since 2007 in a trial concerning a scheme to download and copy Oracle software.
The entire process had begun in 2007 when Oracle accused TomorrowNow of stealing their software. In 2010, a jury awarded Oracle with $1.3 billion in damages. Later, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton decided this payout was too excessive and gave Oracle the choice of either accepting a smaller, $272 million payout or starting a new trial to determine a newer, more reasonable damages payout.
Last month, this second court case concluded with SAP agreeing to pay $306 million to Oracle for downloading and copying their software. Now, Oracle has even appealed this decision, in what could be seen as an attempt to arrive at a number closer to the original $1.3 billion from 2010.
According to Reuters, an SAP spokesperson confirmed that Oracle was taking them back to court, extending the 5-year court battle by a possible 2 years. This spokesperson also added they were disappointed with Oracle´s decision to continually drag out this matter.
"We agreed to a reasonable arrangement, since we believe this case has already persisted long enough," said the spokesperson for SAP, speaking to Reuters.
When SAP agreed to the $306 million in damages in August, lawyers for both companies said they had reached this agreement "to save the time and expense of this new trial, and to expedite the resolution of the appeal.”
However, whenever these two companies signed in agreement of this settlement, they also reserved the right “to seek all appropriate appellate relief, including without limitation reinstatement of the original $1.3 billion judgment."
This little stipulation gave Oracle the option to make another attempt at the billion dollar payout. Though they had previously agreed to the settlement to end the ordeal and get out of court, Oracle yesterday decided to extend the courtroom saga and get as much money from SAP as legally possible.
In addition to being given the opportunity to reopen the case and appeal the $306 million decision, Oracle will be paid the $306 million regardless in relief, in accordance to the agreement signed by both companies and by order of Judge Hamilton.
Hamilton also noted in last month´s decision that SAP had agreed to pick up Oracle´s lawyer tab, a bill which has run up to $120 million.
The 2010 $1.3 billion payout was already a disappointment for Oracle, who had originally sought $1.7 billion in damages from SAP for allegedly stealing their software. When Oracle´s CEO Larry Ellison took the stand in the 2010 case, he said SAP had caused his company up to $4 billion in damages.
SAP, on the other hand, had gone into the 2010 trial arguing they shouldn´t have to pay any more than $40 million.
Vowing to appeal even then, Oracle issued a statement in 2010, saying, “This will unfortunately be a prolonged process and we continue to hope that the matter can be resolved appropriately without more years of litigation.”
Though the cases between Apple & Samsung and Oracle & SAP are very different, those who look down on Apple for feverishly protecting their IP may do well to balance these judgments against Oracle´s actions.