A federal district judge has ordered software company SAP to pony up an interest payment in its copyright infringement lawsuit brought on by archrival Oracle, which will add millions to the already hefty $1.3 billion jury award. In the end, the enterprise software applications giant will end up paying an additional $16.5 million in interest.

The court decision is far less than the $211.7 million interest payment that Oracle (ORCL) had been seeking, but is more than the zero figure that SAP (SAP) had requested. The decision on the interest payment follows an enormous jury award issued last month over copyright infringement actions taken by SAP subsidiary SAP TomorrowNow. In the case, SAP acknowledged its subsidiary had improperly accessed Oracle's proprietary information beyond what its customers' maintenance and support contracts with Oracle allowed for. The accessed information included Oracle's technology and that of Oracle subsidiaries PeopleSoft and Siebel.

In her order, Judge Phyllis Hamilton based the interest payment on the period when hypothetical Siebel license negotiations would have occurred between the two software companies and the date of her ruling on the interest payments. The interest payments are based on a rate equal to the weekly average one-year constant maturity Treasury yield, according to the order.

SAP was less than pleased with the interest rate verdict but relieved it wasn't a nine-figure sum.

"While we believe that Oracle should only be awarded damages, we appreciate that the Court agreed with SAP on the proper calculation of interest in this case which dramatically lowered the amount. The interest the Court ordered, based on the statutorily-set interest rate of .3% and the accrual period of September 29, 2006 through December 23, 2010, is approximately 16.5 million, rather than the over 200 million Oracle was seeking," SAP said in a statement.

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Ms. Kawamoto: An interesting article for me because I liked statistics. I think I have some old SAP manuals in one of my storage lockers.

December 29 2010 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply