Oracle's $1.3 billion (Dh4.7 billion) copyright-infringement verdict against SAP AG, the largest maker of business-management software, was overturned by a federal judge who called the award "grossly excessive".
US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, on Thursday granted SAP's motion to throw out the verdict. She ruled that SAP should get a new trial for damages if Oracle rejects her decision to reduce the amount to $272 million, which she said should be the maximum in damages based on the evidence at trial.
"The verdict grossly exceeded the actual harm to Oracle," Hamilton wrote. The jury verdict "was contrary to the weight of the evidence, and was grossly excessive," she said.
The jury award in November was a record for copyright infringement. In the 11-day trial, Oracle accused SAP's TomorrowNow software-maintenance unit of making hundreds of thousands of illegal downloads and several thousand copies of Oracle's software. Oracle said SAP's aim was allegedly to avoid paying licensing fees and to steal customers.