In the four-year court battle between two technology titans, SAP AP, the world's largest enterprise software provider has been ordered by a US court to pay $1.3 billion to arch rival Oracle Corp for copyright infringement, the largest damages ever awarded for software piracy.
The 11-day trial presided by a eight-member jury, which yesterday awarded the record damages in the high profile case, was closely followed by Silicon Valley.
The award comes as technology and internet giants like Microsoft, Google, Motorola, Nokia, Research In Motion and Apple, among others, are litigating against each other over damages for patent infringement.
Oracle sued Weinheim, Germany-based SAP in 2007, claiming that its US-based subsidiary TomorrowNow, now closed, illegally downloaded thousands of copies of Oracle software and manuals and then resold them along with related services to Oracle's own customers, in a bid to woo them away.
SAP had acquired Texas-based technology firm TomorrowNow in 2005 for $10 million, before shutting it down in 2008.
Oracle had claimed $1.7 billion in damages, in what it said would have been the amount had it to license the software to SAP.
Right before the trial began, SAP admitted its guilt and liability and the trial made it clear that SAP's most senior executives were aware of the illegal activity from the very beginning.