John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

SAP’s Tab in Oracle Case: $120 Million and Counting

Whatever illusions SAP harbored that it could get out of its TomorrowNow copyright mess with Oracle for under $100 million are long gone. According to a court filing, SAP, which is acknowledging complicity in its unit’s infringement, has already agreed to pay Oracle $120 million just for attorneys’ fees. And that’s before Oracle makes its case to the jury for $2 billion-plus in damages.

Under an agreement filed Monday, SAP said it is willing to pay Oracle for “past and future reasonable attorneys fees and costs” as part of a deal in which TomorrowNow would stipulate “to entry of judgment on Oracle’s claims for violations of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and California’s Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, breach of contract, intentional interference, negligent interference, unfair competition, trespass to chattels, unjust enrichment/restitution and an accounting.” In exchange for the admission, Oracle would not seek additional punitive damages. The joint stipulation would need judicial approval.

Still, the real damages here are those related to copyright infringement. So while ducking punitive damages will certainly reduce SAP’s ultimate bill, it’s not likely to bring it that much closer to the “tens of millions” it contends Oracle is legitimately owed. Indeed, Oracle still has its sights firmly set on that $2 billion figure, which to be clear is copyright only. In opening arguments today, Oracle attorney Geoffrey Howard said the company will produce evidence to show SAP “expected the benefit to them and the harm to Oracle to be in the billions of dollars.”


[Image credit: Pre-Ellison Samurai image by Artem Mirolevioch]

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work