It's Not Just The Cartel (Excessive Awards)

Law.com has an interesting item from The (California Legal) Recorder describing Judge Phyllis Hamilton's decision to slice USD 1 billion off of damages for copyright infringement. The damages were laid against SAP in its loss to Oracle over illegal downloading. In pre-trial documents SAP admitted that a company called TomorrowNow – an SAP subsidiary – had downloaded or made "hundreds of thousands of infringing copies of Oracle's software and support materials." Given that admission, the purpose of the suit and trial was solely to determine the extent of damages and what SAP would therefore owe Oracle. According to Ginny LaRoe's story, Judge Hamilton's decision was to limit Oracle to actual damages, denying it more money for "hypothetical license damages". Does any of this sound familiar to you, too? This isn't a free ride for SAP by any means – it's still on the hook for $272 million in actual damages. Oracle may also appeal the judge's ruling, and attempt to get some or all of the full jury award.

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