Oracle Infringement Trial Against SAP Scheduled for June 18

Oracle Corp. (ORCL)’s copyright- infringement lawsuit against SAP AG, the biggest maker of business-management software, is set to go to trial for a second time on June 18.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, scheduled the retrial today after Oracle decided this month to pursue a new trial rather than accept her $1 billion reduction in a jury verdict the company won in 2010.

Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, sued in 2007 after discovering that SAP’s software-maintenance unit had downloaded and copied its software. SAP, based in Walldorf, Germany, didn’t contest that it was liable for the infringement by its TomorrowNow unit, which the company closed in 2008.

Jurors awarded Oracle $1.3 billion, based on the value of a hypothetical license that SAP would have needed to use Oracle’s software. Hamilton threw out the verdict, calling it “grossly excessive” and not supported by the evidence, and said Oracle could accept her decision to reduce the amount to $272 million or get a new trial.

TomorrowNow pleaded guilty in September to U.S. charges of unauthorized computer access and SAP paid the unit’s $20 million fine.

The civil case is Oracle Corp. v. SAP AG (SAP), 07-1658, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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