The dispute between the software giants Oracle and SAP, in one of the most closely watched court cases in Silicon Valley history, is not over whether SAP engaged in a copyright infringement scheme, but over how much damage was done to Oracle, reports the New York Times. SAP has already admitted that it infringed on Oracle’s copyrights and has conceded liability. At issue in a jury trial that began on Tuesday in Federal District Court is how much money SAP will pay in damages. Oracle has argued for $2 billion, and SAP has countered that tens of millions of dollars would be enough. It has set aside $160 million to cover the cost.
For most people in the technology industry, though, the trial is a forum for Lawrence J. Ellison, Oracle’s outspoken chief executive, to go after Léo Apotheker, SAP’s former chief executive and now chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. H.P. had been a close partner of Oracle’s, but in recent months the companies have become rivals…
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