Oracle has suffered a set back in its fight to get damages out of its arch rival SAP over unauthorised downloads made by the German vendor's TomorrowNow division.
The court battle appeared to have been done and dusted after Oracle was awarded damages of $1.3bn last November but moves by SAP to contest that sum, which kicked off earlier this summer, look like they will be successful.
Judge Phyllis Hamilton, who has been presiding over the appeal, said the $1.3bn figure was excessive and that Oracle had only been able to prove damages of $272m and a new trial would have to be called unless it accepted that amount of damages.
According to reports Oracle spokespeople were quoted as hitting back claiming the original jury decision to award $1.3bn had been correct and it intended to go after the full amount of damages it believed it was entitled to.
But the risk the vendor faces is that unless it accepts the $272m offer and forces a fresh trial it could risk losing the $1.3bn from a fresh jury.
In addition to a possible fresh trial against SAP the database giant is also actively involved with a legal spat with HP over its Itanium partnership.
A SAP spokesman said his company was "very gratified" by the decision, "We hope the court's action will help drive this matter to a final resolution."The case between SAP and Oracle ran for three weeks last year with the tech world watching the increasingly bitter counter exchanges as Oracle looked to get compensation for the intellectual property it claimed TomorrowNow had benefited from using.