John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Damages Expert to SAP: You Owe Me $14 Million and Oracle Four Times That

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says SAP owes it $4 billion in damages for infringing its IP. Paul Meyer, its damages expert, puts that sum at about $1.7 billion.

But SAP damages expert Stephen Clarke argues it shouldn’t be more than $40.6 million.

Which is ironic considering SAP paid Clarke’s firm $14 million in fees to determine how much the company owed Oracle for infringing its IP. That’s more than 25 percent of the sum Clarke ultimately settled on (and $10 million more than the fees Oracle’s expert collected for his testimony).

But, according to Clarke, calculating damages accurately requires a certain detached objectivity and evidently it comes at a price. “There’s no anger or punishment allowed,” Clarke said Tuesday. “What happened as a result of that infringement is what matters. The only way to do that is focus on the actual number of contracts at issue here.”

And that number is just 358, well shy of the “thousands” of contracts SAP hoped to win away from Oracle.

Too bad there’s no dollar value on SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott’s apology to Oracle yesterday.

Oracle’s cross-examination of Clarke is expected to continue into Thursday, after which SAP will likely show a bit of testimonial footage and rest its case. Presumably that will be followed by some rebuttal witnesses from Oracle on Friday and closing arguments sometime the following week.


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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