Jury Awards Oracle $1.3 Billion In Copyright Dispute

Jury Awards Oracle $1.3 Billion In Copyright Dispute

OAKLAND, Calif. - (Mealey's) After an 11-day trial, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Nov. 23 determined that Oracle USA Inc. was entitled to $1.3 billion in actual damages in the form of a fair market value license for copyright infringement related to software items that TomorrowNow Inc. had downloaded from an Oracle website (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. TomorrowNow Inc., et al., No. 07-cv-1658, N.D. Calif.).

In an answer to a 2007 copyright infringement complaint by Oracle USA Inc., Oracle International Corp., Oracle EMEA Ltd. and Siebel Systems Inc. (collectively, Oracle), TomorrowNow's parent company SAP AG conceded that TomorrowNow downloaded certain support and software items from Oracle's "Customer Connection" website on behalf of its customers.  Initially, the defendants maintained that such activities happened in accordance with their agreement with Oracle and insisted that no proprietary materials were subsequently divulged.

The parties stipulated that TomorrowNow was liable for copyright infringement and that SAP AG and SAP America were vicariously and contributorily liable for that infringement.  Therefore, the jury was instructed to decide the damages due to Oracle.  The jury decided on a fair market value license instead of an award of more than $2 billion in lost profits.

[Editor's Note:  Full coverage will be in the December issue of Mealey's Cyber Tech and E-Commerce Report.  In the meantime, the verdict is available at www.mealeysonline.com or by calling the Customer Support Department at 1-800-833-9844.  Document #24-101216-009V.  For all of your legal news needs, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/mealeys.]

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For more information, call editor Mark Rogers at 215-988-7745, or e-mail him at mark.rogers@lexisnexis.com.