New trial ordered in Versata patent clash

By Elizabeth Kelleher

Bloomberg reports US Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham in Marshall, Texas, has awarded SAP AG a new trial over the $138.6 million it was ordered to pay Versata Software in a 2009 patent case.

Versata had alleged that SAP’s Business Suite software and associated services violated a number of its patents, and was awarded damages based on the testimony of expert witness Christopher Bakewell, who presented a damages model based on the entire market value of SAP products.
In October 2009, SAP filed a motion arguing that the testimony given by Bakewell should have been stricken because he used an improper methodology.
“Mr. Bakewell improperly relied upon the entire market value of SAP’s accused products … in urging the jury to award a running royalty of $70 for every one of the 2,792,199 SAP user ‘seats’ included in his royalty base,” the motion stated.
“Once Mr. Bakewell’s improper opinions are excluded, the largest damages award supported by the evidence at trial is $2.03 million.”
When the matter came before the US District Court, Judge Charles Everingham said the court had “erred when it admitted Mr. Bakewell’s testimony and his damages model” and set a new trial for April 25.
In a statement, SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said: “We are encouraged by the action and our attorneys are currently reviewing the filing.”

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