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Court: SAP owes Oracle $1.3B

The verdict is in and SAP owes Oracle $1.3 billion for copyright infringement.

Oracle had sought up to $3 billion while SAP, which admitted wrongdoing, said the true damages amount should lie between $28 million and $41 million.

The case led to a series of dramatic kabuki moments. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison publicly warned former  SAP CEO Leo Apotheker  not to show his face  in the U.S. or be hauled into court. This was awkward, to say the least, since Apotheker started his new gig as Hewlett-Packard  CEO on Nov. 1.  Oracle hired private detectives to seek out the elusive Leo, who apparently was not found in time to testify but did show up on HP’s earnings call this week.

Oracle’s moves seemed geared at embarassing not just SAP, but HP, which  Oracle seems to have anointed its newest archrival. Oracle also hired disgraced former HP CEO Mark Hurd as co-president.

In a statement emailed last night to reporters, Oracle’s other co-president, Safra Catz, weighed in.

“For more than three years, SAP stole thousands of copies of Oracle software and then resold that software and related services to Oracle’s own customers. Right before the trial began, SAP admitted its guilt and liability; then the trial made it clear that SAPs most senior executives were aware of the illegal activity from the very beginning. As a result, a United States Federal Court has ordered SAP to pay Oracle $1.3 billion. This is the largest amount ever awarded for software piracy.”

Now with Oracle hyping its new integrated data center hardware full blast, watch for its anti-HP rhetoric  to get even more entertaining. With this legal win under its belt, Oracle continues its rein as the world’s scariest software company.

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