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Judge Overturns $1.3 Billion Ruling in Oracle Theft Case

The court still finds rival SAP guilty of infringement, but drastically reduces the monetary award.

A federal judge yesterday overturned a $1.3 billion judgement won earlier this year by Oracle against rival software maker SAP in a copyright infringement case.

Oracle argued in the earlier trial that SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow wrongfully and illegally downloaded millions of Oracle files.

Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, however, did not reverse the ruling, but instead said the actual damages to Oracle were worth only $272 million. Oracle's options now are to accept that amount or pursue a new trial with a different jury.

In the ruling, Hamilton called the $1.3 billion verdict "grossly excessive." Oracle issued a statement indicating it would continue to seek the full amount of damages previously awarded.

SAP and Oracle are both competitors in the IT software market, and the outcome of this case was highly anticipated.

Oracle is also involved in separate lawsuits with Google, alleging it infringed on copyrights and patents related to Java, which Oracle acquired from Sun Microsystems this year.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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