The long-running intellectual property dispute between SAP and Oracle has taken another twist, with SAP agreeing to pay $306m in damages, after one of its subsidiary's pilfered source code from the database giant.
The dispute arose after it emerged that TomorrowNow, a third party maintenance and support firm that SAP acquired, had wrongfully downloaded millions of Oracle's files.
It was found guilty of copyright infringement, and originally SAP was ordered to pay $1.3bn in damages to Oracle. That was the cue for some more legal tussles, when the presiding judge subsequently slashed the award to just $272m, Oracle rejected that award and threatened to seek a complete re-trial.
The latest agreement would finally put an end to the matter, with SAP also agreeing to pay Oracle's $120m legal costs.
“SAP believes this case has gone on long enough. Although we believe that $306M is more than the appropriate damages amount, we agreed to this in an effort to bring this case to a reasonable resolution,” SAP said in a statement.
There remains one legal obstacle, in that the judge overseeing the case has to approve the settlement.
According to Reuters, the settlement would also allow Oracle to proceed with an appeal to restore the original $1.3bn award, although there is no indication at this stage whether Oracle intends to pursue such an appeal.
If this is the final twist in the long-running tale, SAP bosses could count themselves lucky, said Angela Eager, an analyst with TechMarketView.
“One of the most surprising aspects is that despite admitting and being found guilty of illegally downloading Oracle software, SAP managed to distance itself from its TomorrowNow subsidiary with remarkably little damage to its reputation or its profits,” she said.
Oracle had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
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