Oracle awarded $1.3bn in SAP copyright case

Oracle has been granted a whopping $1.3 billion judgement against its rival SAP following claims of copyright infringement - although the company is, unsurprisingly, seeking to appeal the ruling.

The bumper judgement comes at the conclusion of an eleven day trial in the US District Court in Oakland, California, where Oracle alleged that TomorrowNow, a subsidiary company that SAP acquired in 2005, used automated software to illegally download and copy Oracle's software in order to avoid having to pay licence fees.

The judgement against SAP is thought to be the largest ever for a case of copyright infringement, and could cause SAP some serious cashflow problems - according to an estimate calculated by Bloomberg, the judgement represents the company's entire net income for the fourth quarter of this year.

Worse, the company had only set aside $160 million for the proceedings - money it now has to decide to boost if it wants to appeal the jury's findings.

As you might expect, SAP's stocks took a hit as the judgement was revealed: shares have dropped 1.6 per cent on the news, although later trading saw a small rise to a 1.1 per cent loss as the company declared its intention to fight the ruling.

Oracle, however, has enjoyed a quick boost on the news: shares have increased by almost 1.9 per cent as the ruling was publicised.

For the legally minded, the full ruling can be downloaded from the US Courts site.