SAP said Thursday it will accept liability for TomorrowNow's copyright infringement, but plans to argue that Oracle's claim that it suffered more than $1 billion in damages is inflated by a wide margin.
In a legal filing (download PDF), SAP proposed an end-game to the long-running trial over TomorrowNow, a third party support provider acquired by SAP. The enterprise applications rivals have been duking it out since 2007. SAP acquired TomorrowNow in 2005 and shut it down in 2008. Oracle alleged that TomorrowNow regularly poached intellectual property.
SAP in its filing proposed a quick trial over damages. Here's what SAP said it its legal document outlining its liability and doubts about Oracle's damage claims. The money quote:
Beyond the fact that four Plaintiffs are suing three Defendants on ten claims, the principal reason this case threatens to be so complex to try is that Plaintiffs have asserted a claim for billions where their true damages measure in the tens of millions, at most. Shining a clear and focused light on Plaintiffs’ exaggerated damages claims may be the only way to bring this case to an end. Defendants therefore propose a significant potential compromise—one that should allow this case to reach a fair and timely resolution without unduly burdening the Court or jury:
(1) Defendants would not contest TomorrowNow’s liability under the asserted claims (except that they would preserve the defenses raised in the pending motions for summary judgment, defenses of preemption, statute of limitations, laches and waiver, and all defenses to the alleged fact, amount or causation of or entitlement to damages or any other relief).
(2) Defendants would not contest SAP’s vicarious liability for any judgment against TomorrowNow on the copyright claim and would agree to stand behind and guarantee payment of any other judgment against TomorrowNow (but would preserve all defenses above and any other defenses regarding alleged direct or indirect liability).
(3) Plaintiffs should agree to dismiss other direct or indirect claims against SAP.
(4) The trial should be shortened to two weeks
In the end, SAP's message is that the case is about TomorrowNow's conduct. SAP wants to put this trial to bed, pay Oracle "legally available damages" and move on.
What remains to be seen is how this TomorrowNow potential settlement will affect Oracle's lawsuit against Rimini Street, another third party support provider. Rimini plans to fight Oracle's allegations, which are mirrored after the TomorrowNow complaint.