Judge throws out $1.3 billion verdict in Oracle case against SAP By Brandon Bailey A federal judge has thrown out a jury's $1.3 billion damage award in a case where the commercial software giant Oracle (ORCL) accused rival SAP of improperly using Oracle's programs.
The jury's verdict was "grossly excessive" and "contrary to the weight of evidence," said U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in a ruling issued Thursday.
Hamilton presided over a trial last year in which SAP admitted responsibility for a subsidiary that downloaded and used copies of Oracle's software without authorization. She ruled Thursday in favor of SAP's argument that the jury's award was based on an unreasonable and hypothetical estimate of Oracle's damages.
Instead, the judge indicated she thought an SAP expert's estimate that Oracle suffered $272 million in damages was more reasonable. In her ruling, Hamilton said she would order a new trial unless Oracle chooses to accept that amount.
The case was closely followed in the tech industry, in part because Oracle blamed German software executive Léo Apotheker for his role as chief executive at SAP during part of the case. Apotheker, who denied involvement in any wrongdoing, was not held liable in the trial and is now CEO of Oracle competitor Hewlett-Packard