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Thursday, November 25, 2010
SAP to Pay Oracle $1.3B Over Copyright Infrigment

A U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday found that SAP has stolen Oracle's intellectual property software and ordered SAP to pay $1.3 billion.

According to the court, a SAP subsidiary stole a stockpile of software and customer-support documents from password-protected Oracle websites.

Oracle issued the following statement, attributable to Oracle President Safra Catz:

"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."

SAP issued the following statement:

"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. The mark of a leading company is the way it handles its mistakes. As stated in court, we regret the actions of TomorrowNow, we have accepted liability, and have been willing to fairly compensate Oracle. Throughout this matter, our customers, employees and partners have stood by us and, for that, we are grateful. Our focus now is looking forward, helping our customers be best-run businesses, and extending our legacy of industry leadership well into the future. We thank the jury for its diligent service through this lengthy trial and the Court for its supervision of this complex case."

The penalty is one of the largest on record for software piracy, and has the potential to reshape the business software landscape because of the extent of the damage to the pocketbook and reputation of one of its biggest players.

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