Cases & Deals

SAP's district court victory affirmed by Ninth Circuit

Client(s) SAP AG

Three months after oral argument, the Ninth Circuit issued an order affirming federal district court judge Phyllis Hamilton's decision to overturn a $1.3 billion verdict against Jones Day client SAP AG in a long-running copyright dispute with Oracle. In so doing, the Ninth Circuit accepted almost all arguments advanced by SAP and found that Oracle's hypothetical license damages claim was unduly speculative and that the district court was correct to have ordered a new trial, subject to Oracle rejecting the option of accepting a modified damages award (remittitur). The Ninth Circuit affirmed that at any new trial, Oracle would be precluded from seeking damages in the form of a hypothetical license because it should not get a "second bite at the apple." The Court also rejected all of Oracle's evidentiary objections relating to the new trial.

The Ninth Circuit's ruling comes nearly three years to the day after Judge Hamilton vacated the November 2010 jury verdict against SAP as impermissibly speculative, counterfactual, and punitive. In addition to representing SAP AG, SAP America, Inc., and TomorrowNow, Inc. at the Ninth Circuit, Jones Day defended SAP at the trial and subsequent post-trial proceedings that gave rise to Oracle's appeal.

The Jones Day appeal team was led by partners Greg Lanier (Silicon Valley), Jane Froyd (Silicon Valley), and Greg Castanias (Washington), and included partners Bob Mittelstaedt (San Francisco), Jason McDonell (San Francisco), and Craig Stewart (San Francisco), as well as associates Jacqueline Lee (Silicon Valley), Heather Fugitt (Silicon Valley), Katie Lynott (Silicon Valley), and Tara Morrissey (Washington).

Oracle Corp. v. SAP AG, No. 12-16944, D.C. No. 4:07-cv-01658-PJH (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2014)