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SAP witness: You owe Oracle $40M and me $14M

The expert's testimony is not without irony in a trial to determine damages for the theft of Oracle intellectual property by SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says SAP owes it $4 billion in damages for infringing its intellectual property.

Paul Meyer, Oracle's damages expert, puts that sum at about $1.7 billion.

And SAP damages expert Stephen Clarke argues it shouldn't be more than $40.6 million.

This is ironic considering SAP paid Clarke's firm $14 million in fees to determine how much the company owes Oracle for infringing its IP. That's more than 25 percent of the $40.6 million figure that Clarke ultimately determined that SAP owes Oracle (and $10 million more than the fee that Oracle's damages expert collected for testimony).

According to Clarke, calculating damages accurately requires a certain detached objectivity. Evidently it comes at a price. "There's no anger or punishment allowed," Clarke said yesterday. "What happened as a result of that infringement is what matters. The only way to do that is focus on the actual number of contracts at issue here."

And that number is just 358 contracts, well shy of the "thousands" of contracts SAP hoped to win away from Oracle.

Too bad there's no dollar value on SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott's apology to Oracle.

Oracle's cross-examination of Clarke is expected to continue into tomorrow, after which SAP will likely show a bit of testimonial footage and then rest its case. Presumably that will be followed by some rebuttal witnesses from Oracle on Friday and closing arguments sometime the following week.