Oracle wins case against SAP employee illegal downloads

A long-standing battle between the two tech giants is potentially at an end, resulting in Oracle winning limited damages — or opting for a retrial.

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Oracle and SAP have settled a long-running lawsuit over SAP employees illegally downloading Oracle files. 

The lawsuit involved SAP's TomorrowNow unit, as reported by Reuters. The now-defunct German unit's employees illegally downloaded Oracle software to servers while providing support for customers. The case surrounded a single question: whether TomorrowNow had the right to download Oracle software to its servers by using customer license keys.

TomorrowNow, wound up in 2008, once acted as a unit that provided support to Oracle customers at lower rates that Oracle charged — in order to entice them over to SAP.

This question has now been answered. Back in 2007, Oracle sued SAP after noticing "suspicious" download patterns, and in 2010, a California jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion in damages after deeming the practice unacceptable.

SAP admitted liability for its employees, but could not agree with Oracle on reimbursement — and so it has taken until now for a federal appeals court to reduce this figure to $356.7 million.

The company will also receive $2.5 million in post-judgment interest.

Oracle can accept this lower rate of damages, or opt for a re-trial against SAP. In a statement, Oracle's general counsel Dorian Daley told the news agency:

We are thrilled about this landmark recovery and extremely gratified that our efforts to protect innovation and our shareholders' interests are duly rewarded.

SAP said it was pleased the court accepted arguments to "limit Oracle's excessive damages claims and that Oracle has finally chosen to end this matter."

Read on: In the enterprise