Oracle is set to appear in the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco on May 13th seeking to have U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton’s decision (August 2011) to throw out Oracle’s previous record-setting $1.3B verdict (November 2010) against SAP overturned. Oracle wants the $1.3B copyright infringement verdict it won against SAP either reinstated or a new trial to take place.
According to a court filing, Oracle feels the thrown out verdict was “well within the range a rational jury could have chosen to compensate Oracle for…” Judge Hamilton did not see things this way when she held the copyright infringement verdict handed down by the jury was based on a possible negotiation that was nothing more than fictitious in nature and grounded in self-serving testimony from Oracle’s executives and what amounted to guesses from experts. Judge Hamilton not only rejected the $1.3B jury award, she called for a new trial unless Oracle and SAP would agree to a $272M settlement. Shortly thereafter (February 2012), Oracle appealed the settlement with a new trial being set for September of 2012. A new trial was avoided in August of 2012, when Oracle and SAP agreed to settle for $306M. There was however a clause in the settlement that provided either party the right to appeal, which Oracle executed roughly a month after the $306M settlement, demanding a new trial. Now Oracle is looking for either a new trial or the $1.3B jury award reinstated.
We have been covering this case extensively and discussing the implications (if any) it could ultimately have on the third party support market. In terms of any possible impact on the third party support market, it is important to remember that the verdict involved here is largely tied to SAP’s own admission that it (TomorrowNow) had violated Oracle’s copyrights in order to provide third party support. There was no determination that it is fundamentally impossible for a third-party support provider to provide support without violating the copyrights of Oracle or other software vendors. That issue could ultimately come to a close through a ruling in the current Oracle v. Rimini Street case. Rimini Street strongly believes they will end up with a victory in this case based on their consistent statements that they have not and will never violate any software vendor’s copyrights in providing third-party support.
We will continue to follow and provide our insights on the Oracle case against SAP as well as the critically important Oracle v. Rimini Street case and the impact it may have on the third party support market.
Should you wish to discuss either case, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]