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Judge gives SAP a break on interest owed Oracle

A federal judge has given business software giant SAP a break in the recent mammoth software theft verdict at the hands of Oracle: while the judge agrees with Oracle that SAP should pay interest on damages, the judge ruled interest should be calculated differently than Oracle proposed. The change will save SAP about $195 million—a small fraction of the $1.3 billion awarded to Oracle in the judgment, but still a great deal of money.

Last month, a jury ordered SAP to pay Oracle $1.3 billion in damages for stealing software and support materials from an Oracle support Web site. A company acquired by SAP registered with an Oracle customer support Web site using fraudulent credentials to download software and other materials. In addition to software theft, Oracle claims SAP picked up over 350 customers through its actions. Oracle was award damages both for software theft and loss of business. The award is one of the largest software piracy judgments ever levied.

Overall, Oracle was seeking well over $200 million in interest on damages incurred from 2006 to 2010. The judge agreed Oracle was due interest, but set the amount using a set interest rate of 0.3 percent, defined by statute. The rule takes the amount of interest owed Oracle down to about $16.5 million.

SAP plans to challenge the overall verdict against it; although the company has admitted some liability through its now-shuttered TomorrowNow subsidiary, it believes the compensation awarded to Oracle is excessive. However, the damage to SAP’s reputation as a leading provider of enterprise and business software solutions may not be so easily undone.

Photo credit: Oracle Corporate Communications]