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Oracle awarded $1.3 billion in copyright infringement suit

Oracle Corp. won a $1.3-billion verdict Tuesday in a lawsuit in which it alleged that German business software maker SAP infringed on the copyright of the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.

The verdict in the high-profile federal court case is one of the largest ever for copyright infringement. The eight-person jury in Oakland awarded the damages one day after the companies presented closing arguments.

Oracle sued SAP in 2007 claiming that SAP’s now-defunct U.S. business software unit, TomorrowNow, illegally downloaded Oracle software and documents to support Oracle’s 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 $28 million to $41 million to Oracle. Oracle, however, claimed that SAP owed as much as $3 billion.

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“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,” Oracle President Safra Catz said. The trial, she said, “made it clear that SAP’s most senior executives were aware of the illegal activity from the very beginning.”

An SAP spokesman said the company was “disappointed” by the verdict and “will pursue all available options.”

“This will unfortunately be a prolonged process, and we continue to hope that the matter can be resolved appropriately without more years of litigation,” spokesman Saswato Das said.

jessica.guynn@latimes.com


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