Oracle, SAP settle long-running TomorrowNow lawsuit

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(Reuters) - Oracle Corp and SAP SE have settled long-running copyright litigation for $356.7 million over improper downloads of Oracle files, ending a fierce legal battle between the two enterprise software rivals.

The case involved SAP’s TomorrowNow unit, which the German company bought to provide software support to Oracle customers at lower rates than what Oracle charged, hoping to persuade them to become SAP customers.

Oracle sued SAP in 2007 after noticing thousands of suspicious downloads of its software. A California jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion in 2010, but that amount was knocked down in subsequent judicial rulings. Earlier this year a federal appeals court said Oracle could either accept $356.7 million, or opt for a retrial against SAP.

“We are thrilled about this landmark recovery and extremely gratified that our efforts to protect innovation and our shareholders’ interests are duly rewarded,” Oracle’s general counsel Dorian Daley said in a statement.

SAP said it was pleased that the courts “ultimately accepted SAP’s arguments to limit Oracle’s excessive damages claims and that Oracle has finally chosen to end this matter.”

After Oracle sued, SAP conceded that its employees were illegally downloading Oracle files, but it could not agree with Oracle on damages. The 2010 trial between the two companies was widely watched, as top Oracle executives Larry Ellison and Safra Catz testified.

The downloads also resulted in a criminal probe, which SAP agreed to pay $20 million to resolve.

The civil case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California was Oracle USA, Inc., et al. v. SAP AG, et al, 07-cv-1658.

Reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston and Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio