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SAP Ordered To Pay Oracle $1.3 Billion

Publication Date: 
November 23, 2010
The New York Times
Verne G. Kopytoff

A clash of technology titans and two of the most powerful executives in Silicon Valley ended on Tuesday with a $1.3 billion federal jury award against SAP for stealing software from Oracle to try to woo away customers.

The award, the largest ever for copyright infringement, comes as big technology companies, including Apple, Google and Motorola, have increasingly resorted to the courts to resolve patent and intellectual property disputes instead of quietly working out a deal. Rarely, however, do the lawsuits go to court or attract the attention this dispute did.


Roland Vogl, executive director of the program in law, science and technology at Stanford University, said that while there are lots of copyright disputes, sparring companies often settle before going in front of a jury, often settling in pretrial motions. “Only a very, very small number of cases get litigated to the very end,” he said. That these companies did not probably had a lot to do with the longtime animus between them, he said. “Those two companies have notoriously been feuding over so many years.”