SAP beefs up legal team after Oracle lawsuit verdict

The move could indicate SAP is planning to file an appeal

SAP has tapped the services of several additional lawyers following a jury's decision last month to award Oracle $1.3 billion in its corporate-theft lawsuit against SAP, indicating it may appeal the judgment.

Four attorneys from the San Francisco firm of Durie Tangri LLP have been added to SAP's roster, according to court filings in the past week.

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Durie Tangri "focuses on diverse areas of complex civil litigation including intellectual property (patent, trademark and copyright), professional liability, contract and commercial matters and class actions," according to its website.

It has "extensive experience in groundbreaking copyright cases," the site adds. The firm represents Google in connection with its book-scanning efforts, as well as Linden Lab in a matter involving alleged "in-world copying of virtual objects in Second Life."

"We have added some additional expertise to our team as we continue to explore our post-trial options," SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said.

Oracle filed suit against SAP in 2007, alleging that its now-defunct TomorrowNow subsidiary illegally downloaded Oracle software and support materials in order to provide lower-cost support to Oracle customers.

While SAP has expressed regret at TomorrowNow's actions and accepted liability, it considered the award's size to be unfair. SAP had argued it was liable for about $40 million, while Oracle had asked for $1.6 billion.

SAP said it would "pursue all available options, including post-trial motions and appeal if necessary," after the judgment was handed down in late November. "This will unfortunately be a prolonged process and we continue to hope that the matter can be resolved appropriately without more years of litigation," the company also said at the time.

Even prior to the jury's verdict, SAP had agreed to pay Oracle $120 million in legal fees in exchange for Oracle not pursuing punitive damages.

Oracle has also asked for $212 million in interest from SAP.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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