Oracle bests Rimini Street in latest lawsuit ruling

Summary:A federal judge has backed Oracle's position against third-party support vendor Rimini Street in rulings over defamation claims and copyright theft.

Oracle is claiming new court rulings are an important victory in its long-running battle over software support provided to its customers by Rimini Street, which is playing down their significance.

A federal judge this week found that Oracle's claims that Rimini had engaged in massive theft of Oracle's intellectual property "are true" and dismissed Rimini Street's counterclaims for defamation and unfair competition against Oracle.

The US district court in Las Vegas also ruled that Oracle's copyrights had been infringed by Rimini Street, which since 2010 has been defending itself and its CEO, Seth Ravin, against an Oracle lawsuit alleging intellectual property theft.

Rimini Street provides enterprise software maintenance services to Oracle and SAP licensees, offering what it describes as significant savings on total support costs and annual support fees.

In February, the court found that Rimini Street had infringed Oracle's PeopleSoft copyrights . The new ruling relates to 25 downloads and 200 unlicensed copies of Oracle's database software.

"The court's ruling today, like the court's ruling in February, is an important vindication of Oracle's intellectual property rights," Oracle attorney Geoff Howard said in a statement.

"After today's ruling, Rimini can no longer deny that it engaged in 'massive theft' of Oracle's intellectual property. We look forward to holding Rimini Street and Seth Ravin accountable at trial for the damages caused by their misconduct."

However, Rimini Street said the copyright infringement ruling relates to Oracle software no longer in use at the company and therefore which "do not cause interruptions to service for any client or any product line".

"This ruling has no impact on our operations, and we disagree with the judge's characterisation that our licence dispute with Oracle = 'theft'," the company said in a statement. 

"Primarily, the court ruled on a license dispute over approximately 200 copies of Oracle Database for Windows that Rimini Street previously used on its servers with hosted client test/development environments.

"The court ruled that Rimini Street was not properly licensed for the software, which retails for around $10,000 per copy, without taking into account quantity discounts."

In relation to the denial by the court of Rimini Street's counterclaims and some affirmative defences, the company said it reserves its right to appeal against these rulings, as well as against the copyright finding.

"Rimini Street looks forward to our long-awaited and anticipated day in front of a jury, and we will continue to vigorously defend the lawsuit and attempt to reach a fair resolution," the company said.

The court ordered Oracle and Rimini Street to submit a pre-trial order within 60 days.

In 2007 Oracle sued SAP and its subsidiary, TomorrowNow, which provided third-party support for Oracle applications, over the alleged use of Oracle support documents to undercut pricing in an attempt to gain customers. SAP closed TomorrowNow in 2008.

More on Oracle and Riminini Street

Topics: Enterprise Software, Oracle, Software, Tech Industry

About

Toby Wolpe is a senior reporter at ZDNet in London. He started in technology journalism when the Apple II was state of the art.

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