SAP won't pay $1.3B to Oracle until case is over

The judge says SAP doesn't have to pay until its post-trial motions have been heard

Oracle will have to wait a bit longer to get its hands on the US$1.3 billion awarded to it last year by a jury in its corporate theft lawsuit against SAP.

A U.S. court on Friday granted SAP's request for a "stay of execution" while it proceeds with post-trial motions in the case and, potentially, an appeal, according to a judge's order entered Friday at the District Court in Oakland, California.

SAP has argued that the size of the award was excessive and that the method used to calculate damages was not appropriate. It is also seeking a retrial.

Oracle sued SAP after it discovered that a company SAP acquired in 2005, TomorrowNow, had been downloading Oracle support materials illegally from an Oracle's customer support Web site.

SAP didn't contest the downloads took place and has since shut down the subsidiary. The trial was largely to determine how much SAP should pay in damages.

In November, after a high-profile trial that saw Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in the witness stand, the jury sided largely with Oracle and awarded it $1.3 billion. SAP had argued the fine should have been in the tens of millions.

District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton on Friday ordered SAP to obtain a "supersedes bond" for the damages -- basically an assurance that it will pay if it is required to. She denied a motion by Oracle for the bonding company to add interest to the sum while it awaits the outcome of the trial.

An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment.

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James Niccolai

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