SAP Loses A Ruling To Have A $345 Million Patent Judgment Overturned

Posted May 2, 2013

An appeals court has decided to reject SAP’s attempt to have a $345 million judgment ruling overturned.  Versata Software was awarded the judgment as part of a patent-infringement lawsuit filed against SAP.

“Sufficient evidence supports the jury’s verdict,” stated Chief Judge Randall Rader in the decision statement.

Versata created and sold software that companies used to determine the prices of their offerings based on customer size, geographic location, and other valuable demographics.  SAP sold Versata’s software as a “bolt-on” to their ERP systems back in the 1990s.

SAP decided to create their own pricing software and then they cut off their partnership with Versata.  Versata decided to sue SAP in 2007 alleging that their pricing software infringed on several of their patents.

Versata won $139 million initially in 2009, but a judge decided to set that award aside and order a new trial.  SAP created a software patch to their pricing software to eliminate the basis for future infringement on Versata’s patents.

Unfortunately, SAP’s software was still infringing Versata’s intellectual property even with the patch.  As a result, Versata was awarded $345 million in May 2011.  SAP was given a permanent judgement, which banned them from selling the pricing functionality.

SAP argued that the injunction was too broad and argued that it prohibited them from selling additional seats and maintenance services to existing customers.  The appeals court agreed with SAP and had the trial court modify the wording of the injunction.

“SAP’s attorneys are currently reviewing the court’s ruling,” stated SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie as quoted by ComputerWorld. “We are pleased the court found the injunction was overbroad and remanded it to the lower court for modification. Until we have had a chance to review this ruling in detail, we will not comment further.”