After Oracle sued SAP and its former division TomorrowNow for IP theft and won a ruling for $1.3 billion in damages, you might have noticed a wave of speculation and interest in SAP’s financial future.
After all, this was the largest amount of cash ever awarded for a copyright infringement, and the biggest by any U.S. jury in 2010. And the $1.3 billion payout is approximately one-third of SAP’s 2011 free cash flow.
Here is a list of 10 things you may not know about the record-breaking damages award and outcome of the trial.
1. Don’t call Oracle CEO Larry Ellison heartless: He stipulated that SAP can earn back $175,000 of the judgment if co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe agree to mow Ellison’s lawn every week for one month this summer.
2. In order to help raise the cash, SAP is asking all employees to hold a series of car washes and bake sales in the communities where they live. ‘Cuz, ya know, every little bit helps!
3. The jury added an extra $100,000 to the damages award because SAP CFO Werner Brandt really annoyed the crap out of them while he was on the stand.
4. Since SAP is based in Germany, SAP execs are hoping for some favorable currency fluctuations between the dollar and euro during the next couple of months.
5. In 2011, SAP customers may notice a new fee attached to SAP licensing costs: “LDF,” for legal defense fund. (Don’t bother asking about it, though, it’s “non-negotiable.”)
6. Ya know, for $1.3 billion, SAP could have purchased 13 Oracle Exadata database machines (not including software license and support fees, of course).
7. The annual SAP holiday parties have been moved from the nearby Ritz-Carlton to the closest Red Roof Inn. (And it’s Bring Your Own German Beer, by the way.)
8. Tiger Woods, who recently endured the worst year of any mega-celebrity and reportedly paid out $100 million in his divorce settlement, was said to wince in mock pain when he heard about the verdict.
9. To put all this in perspective, remember that Ellison is worth $28 billion. Just sayin’.
10. If there is a sliver of a silver lining, it’s this: SAP is now entered into the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Unfortunately it’s for the “Worst Return on a Software Acquisition.” SAP paid $10 million for TomorrowNow in 2005, lost close to $100 million on its investment during its existence, and now faces this $1.3 billion verdict.
Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at email@example.com.