SAP would rather not pay Oracle interest on top of the $1.3 billion in damages awarded the company last month. But it has to, now that a court has granted Oracle's demand for prejudgment interest.
Late yesterday a federal judge ordered SAP to pay interest on the gargantuan sum Oracle won against it in a November copyright infringement trial. But it also agreed to calculate that interest using a different method from the one employed by Oracle. And in doing so it lopped about $195 million dollars off the prejudgment interest Oracle had originally sought.
So good news or, rather, significantly better bad news. Certainly, SAP was pleased to learn it's not obligated to pile quite as much prejudgment interest atop Oracle's award as it might have been.
"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," an SAP spokesman told me. "The interest the court ordered, based on the statutorily set interest rate of 0.3 percent 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."
Of course, that doesn't make Oracle's damages award any less massive. But then SAP hopes to whittle that down as well. As the company said in its filing last week: "Defendants plan to challenge that verdict on a variety of grounds in their post-judgment motions, including that it is excessive and overcompensates Oracle."