A federal judge on Thursday threw out a "grossly excessive" $1.3 billion verdict that Oracle won against SAP in a landmark intellectual property case, possibly setting the stage for another circus-like showdown between the two technology companies.
The decision was a surprising twist in a 4-year-old case that's been filled with them. There will be a new trial if Oracle formally rejects a lower $272 million award, which it has indicated it will do.
While Thursday's ruling was a victory for German SAP AG, it's not necessarily as much of a setback for Oracle, which stands to humiliate SAP again even if it can't secure the higher award.
Oracle is the leading maker of database software, which helps companies organize their information. Its aggressive expansion into business applications has forced Oracle into a faceoff with SAP, the leader in that space.