SAP ordered to pay Versata $345m

A US court has ordered German enterprise software provider SAP to pay Versata Software $345m for infringing on one of its patents.The $345m (£212m) payout follows a ruling in August 2009 ordering SAP to pay Versata $138.

A US court has ordered German enterprise software provider SAP to pay Versata Software $345m for infringing on one of its patents.

The $345m (£212m) payout follows a ruling in August 2009 ordering SAP to pay Versata $138.6m for infringing on its patented technology. A different judge later set that verdict aside, ordering a new trial, after SAP successfully argued that testimony given by a Versata expert witness should be set aside as it was methodologically flawed.

On Friday, jurors in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas decided that SAP's redesigned software continued to infringe on US Patent No. 6,553,350 B2, issued in 2003. The patent covers "a method and apparatus for pricing products in multi-level product and organisational groups". Versata was awarded $260m in lost profits and $85m in royalties following a one-week trial.

"Versata has always understood that the greatest value in enterprise software is the innovation behind the code," Lance Jones, general counsel to Versata parent company, Trilogy, said in a statement.

"That is why Versata and the entire Trilogy family of companies maintain a long and consistent practice of filing for patents on new and valuable inventions. The jury's verdict in this case clearly validates our trust in the patent system."

Versata also announced it intends to seek a permanent injunction to prevent any further infringement by SAP, including the sale or distribution of the infringing technology.

SAP was not immediately available for comment.

Update: On Tuesday, an SAP spokeswoman contacted ZDNet UK in response to a request for comment.

"Patent infringement lawsuits have become a regular practice in our industry. This lawsuit is based on technology developed in the mid-1990s and there is no proof that any customer ever used it. The verdict, which we don’t believe is appropriate, is one step in a long legal process. While we will continue to defend our position, it has very little to do with the strategy put in place by our new management team," she said in a statement.