Oracle, SAP return to battle in court

SAP will argue for a new trial in its legal battle against Oracle, saying the jury’s $1.3 billion verdict in the TomorrowNow case was a “miscarriage of justice.”

SAP will argue in court today for a new trial in its legal battle with Oracle, and ask that the $1.3 billion jury verdict be reduced or thrown out altogether.

The appeal by SAP was inevitable considering how the software manufacturer had only set aside $160 million for the lawsuit.

Oracle sued SAP in 2007, claiming that SAP’s then third-party maintenance vendor TomorrowNow had engaged in copyright infringement and illegal downloading of Oracle’s software. SAP admitted to inappropriate downloads and insists it shut the company down as soon as it found out what TomorrowNow was doing. Ever since it began, the case has hinged not on SAP’s guilt -- which it has admitted to -- but what the software manufacturer should be expected to pay.

In February, SAP motioned for a new trial, saying in a filing that the jury’s verdict was “grossly excessive, against the weight of evidence, and resulted in a miscarriage of justice.” SAP is asking for either a reduction of the verdict to $408 million or a new trial.

SAP's expert witness had placed the appropriate damage award at $40 million, while Oracle's witness had argued for damages of $1.7 billion.

Oracle responded to SAP’s motion for a new trial in an April filing, saying the verdict was “not speculative, unsupported by the evidence, or unfair in the least.”

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