SAP, Versata settle $391 million patent litigation

Terms of the deal will involve a patent licensing agreement, according to a court filing

SAP and Versata Software have abruptly settled a long-running patent dispute that dates back to 2007, and of late had SAP facing the prospect of paying a US$391 million judgment.

In the 1990s, Versata developed pricing software SAP customers used along with their ERP (enterprise-resource-planning) implementations. SAP later developed its own brand of pricing software and bundled it along with other products, a move that hurt Versata's sales.

Versata then filed suit against SAP in 2007, claiming the latter company's pricing software infringed on patents it holds.

In 2009, Versata won a $139 million verdict against SAP, but that was set aside by a judge who ordered a new trial. A jury then awarded Versata $345 million in 2011, an amount that grew to $391 million with interest.

SAP tried unsuccessfully to appeal the judgment.

Versata and SAP have now agreed to settle the case subject to a patent licensing agreement, according to a filing made last week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which is seen as friendly to patent claimants. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy Payne then formally dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning Versata can't bring similar claims again against SAP.

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

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