SAP willing to pay Oracle $120M for attorney's fees

In exchange, Oracle will drop its punitive damages claims in the TomorrowNow lawsuit

SAP would pay Oracle $US120 million for "past and future reasonable attorneys fees and costs" under the terms of a joint stipulation filed Monday in connection with the companies' ongoing intellectual-property lawsuit.

Oracle sued SAP in 2007, alleging that its TomorrowNow subsidiary illegally downloaded Oracle software and support materials in order to lure away Oracle customers.

Under the agreement filed Monday, TomorrowNow "stipulates to entry of judgment on Oracle's claims for violations of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and California's Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, breach of contract, intentional interference, negligent interference, unfair competition, trespass to chattels, unjust enrichment/restitution and an accounting."

In turn, Oracle will not seek punitive damages against TomorrowNow or SAP, according to the filing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The jury in the case, which went to trial this week, will be instructed to consider "only those damages available under the Copyright Act," it adds.

SAP must pay Oracle the $120 million by Nov. 9.

The agreement's terms are not binding until the court approves it, and either SAP or Oracle can withdraw entirely if any provisions are not accepted, it states.

Last week, SAP said it wouldn't contest the issue of "contributory infringement" -- or whether its executives knew about the software theft. The move meant the trial will hinge on damages owed to Oracle.

Oracle has pegged its total damages at north of $2 billion, while SAP had maintained they should be in the tens of millions. SAP is now poised to give Oracle far more than that sum even before the question of damages for copyright infringement is answered, despite the elimination of punitive damages.

Spokespersons for SAP and Oracle declined to comment on the stipulation.

Opening statements in the case begin today.

James Niccolai of IDG News Service contributed to this story.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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