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By | Brid-Aine Parnell 3rd August 2012 12:04

SAP to bung Oracle at least $306m in software piracy row

But Larry's eyes are still on a $1.3bn prize

German software giant SAP has agreed to hand over $306m in damages to Oracle in the TomorrowNow copyright infringement case in order to avoid a new trial.

Oracle sued SAP in 2007, claiming that the German biz's TomorrowNow subsidiary illegally downloaded Oracle software and support documents in an effort to pilfer Oracle customers. SAP eventually admitted wrongdoing, and it shut down the maintenance subsidiary.

The lawsuit originally resulted in damages of $1.3bn being levied against SAP, the largest ever awarded by a copyright jury, but Judge Phyllis Hamilton later threw out the decision and said Oracle could only have $272m or it could ask for a retrial.

Instead of coughing up the cash for another full-blown trial, the pair of warring tech firms have agreed on the $306m payout to hurry the case onto the appeals court: Larry Ellison's Oracle can now ask judges to reinstate the $1.3bn award decision.

Aside from avoiding the larger costs of another trial by jury, agreeing this sum now also gives Oracle a minimum amount from the case: if the appeal hearing later results in a lesser damages award, SAP has agreed to pay the difference up to the $306m anyway.

“SAP, which admitted infringement before the 2010 trial and pled guilty to a number of criminal charges brought by the US Department of Justice after trial, must pay us a minimum of $426m, including attorneys’ fees,” Oracle attorney Dorian Daley said in a canned statement.

Just in case you missed that, Oracle's bill from the lawyers was indeed $120m. ®

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