Innovation Asset Blog

SAP ordered to pay Oracle $1.3 billion in copyright infringement ruling

A federal jury ruled Tuesday that SAP must pay Oracle $1.3 billion in damages stemming from a copyright infringement suit involving SAP's now defunct subsidiary TomorrowNow. The California jury ruled that TomorrowNow had illegally downloaded hundreds of thousands of programs owned by Oracle in an attempt to steal customers away.

According to Bloomberg, the ruling, which was made after only one day of deliberation, is the largest court-ordered payment for copyright infringement in history.

Oracle, which filed suit in 2007, originally argued for a payment of $1.7 billion, while SAP pushed for a payment of $28 million, claiming TomorrowNow was authorized to make the downloads on behalf of customers.

"This will unfortunately be a prolonged process and we continue to hope that the matter can be resolved appropriately without more years of litigation," said an SAP spokesman in response to the ruling. The Walldorf, Germany-based company has already set aside $160 million for litigation purposes.

SAP is fighting legal troubles on all fronts, as Laserfiche, a California imaging software vendor, recently sued SAP over a trademark infringement involving the company's use of the phrase "Run Smarter."

As more software companies such as Oracle begin to offer their services and programs through the cloud, demand for effective intellectual property management systems has risen as well.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.