The panel affirmed in part and vacated in part the district court’s judgment after a jury trial on damages for infringement of enterprise software copyrights owned by Oracle Corp. and other plaintiffs.
The jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion as the fair market value of a hypothetical license from Oracle encompassing the defendants’ infringement of Oracle’s copyrights. The district court granted judgment as a matter of law on the ground that Oracle failed to provide enough evidence to permit the jury to establish an objective, non-speculative hypothetical-license price. The district court ordered a new trial, conditioned on Oracle’s rejection of a $272 million remittitur measured by the copyright holder’s lost profits plus infringer’s profits, rather than by hypothetical-license damages. Oracle rejected the remittitur. The district court ruled that, if a second trial were conducted, Oracle would not be able to argue for, or present evidence of, hypothetical-license damages. Oracle and the defendants stipulated to a $306 million judgment.
Affirming the district court’s grant of JMOL, the panel held that in order to recover hypothetical-license damages, Oracle did not have to show that it actually would have granted a license to defendants. The panel also held that the hypothetical-license damage award was based on undue speculation. The panel affirmed the district court’s grant of defendants’ motion for new trial conditioned on Oracle’s rejection of a remittitur, as well as the district court’s ruling that Oracle could not pursue hypothetical-license damages at a second trial.
The panel vacated the district court’s ruling selecting $272 million as the remittitur amount because that amount was below the maximum amount sustainable by the proof. The panel remanded with instructions to condition any new trial on Oracle’s rejection of a $356.7 million remittitur.
The panel affirmed the district court’s denial of Oracle’s motion to exclude testimony by defendants’ damages expert during a second trial. The panel declined to reach additional issues concerning a second trial.