Intellectual property needs to be taken better care of. That is the message from leading analysts following the huge payout SAP was ordered to make to Oracle for copyright infringement. Thomas Otter, lead SAP analyst at Gartner explains how companies cannot rest on their laurels with regards to their approach to IP.

“The software industry is premised on IP, yet many software companies, even quite sophisticated ones, haven’t really tightened up their approach to IP in relation to how they treat other people’s products and how their products are treated in the market.”

Otter believes this case will be a real wake up call for the software industry as a whole. With SAP now owing Oracle $1.3bn in damages, paying for the actions of TomorrowNow has proved a costly admittance. The lesson, as one analyst stated, “is about taking care of IP.”

SAP has spoken of an appeal, but Anthony Miller, managing director of TechMarketView, thinks they should pay, and put this behind them. “Otherwise the case will always be the first thing they’ll have to talk about with customers. They may end up paying a bit less on appeal, but is it really worth it?”

In the day-to-day world of IT, Gartner’s Otter does not think either company will suffer. The one thing it does highlight to the vendor is the dog eat dog world of competition in the industry. UK software companies are not immune to copyright disputes – although the payouts have not risen to the levels of the US, as yet. All a court needs is proof.