Californian court orders SAP to pay Oracle $1.3bn in data theft case

Oracle demands $1.7bn, SAP believes it should pay $40m

Germany-based business software company SAP has been ordered by a Californian court to pay US rival Oracle $1.3bn (£820m) in connection with a stolen intellectual property case.

According to the charges, SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow siphoned off large amounts of software and confidential data from Oracle by posing as clients.

Oracle alleged that the now-closed subsidiary infringed copyright by illegally downloading software documents in 2006. SAP reportedly made $40m from the 358 customers it gained with the stolen data.

Oracle had demanded $1.7bn as damages, while SAP, which accepted liability, countered that it should pay only about $40m.

However, the court decided in favour of Oracle, thus making the penalty among the largest in history for stolen code, amounting to more than half of SAP's total profits last year.

SAP said in a statement that it was disappointed by the verdict and would pursue all available options, including post-trial motions and appeal, if necessary.

Oracle co-president Safra Catz expressed her satisfaction with the verdict, adding that $1.3bn was the largest amount ever awarded for software piracy.