Reporting from San Francisco — SAP has reached an agreement to pay for all of Oracle Corp.'s legal costs in connection with the high-profile copyright-infringement battle between the two corporate-software rivals.
Oracle, however, remains in a position to win billions of dollars in damages at trial, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Under the agreement, Oracle would receive $120 million from SAP to cover legal costs while agreeing not to pursue punitive damages. Yet Oracle still would be able to pursue damages related to SAP's acknowledged copyright infringement, which could reach roughly $2 billion, the person said.
The judge presiding over the ongoing trial in Oakland to determine damages owed to Oracle by SAP has sealed the order related to the agreement.
Computerworld first reported the terms of the proposed agreement Tuesday.
In its lawsuit in 2007, Oracle alleged that SAP's U.S.-based TomorrowNow unit stole copyrighted material used by Oracle to provide support services to software customers.
Oracle accused SAP of attempting to use the now-defunct TomorrowNow to offer cut-rate service and ultimately lure customers away to SAP.
During opening arguments at the trial Tuesday, an SAP attorney argued that though SAP should have kept a closer eye on TomorrowNow's behavior, the ultimate damage inflicted on Oracle in the form of lost customers actually amounted to only about $40 million.
But Oracle's attorney portrayed SAP's acquisition of TomorrowNow as a scheme designed to shave billions of dollars from Oracle's market value while stealing away valuable customer relationships.
Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison is expected to testify at the trial Friday. Oracle has requested that SAP Chief Financial Officer Werner Brandt also testify.
Letzing writes for MarketWatch.com/McClatchy.