Oracle wins more damages, injunction vs. Rimini Street

Oracle wins another $46 million in attorney fees and costs against Rimini Street as damages near the $100 million mark.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

A US District Court judge granted a permanent injunction to Oracle against Rimini Street over copyright infringement and illegal computer access violations.

In a statement, Oracle said that it won the permanent injunction during its long-running lawsuit against Rimini Street, which provides third party enterprise software support.

Oracle added that the court also awarded Oracle $46 million in attorneys fees and costs against Rimini and CEO Seth Ravin. Oracle was previously awarded $50 million in damages.

Rimini Street said in a statement that the Oracle news is overblown.

After Rimini Street's more than 11 years of successfully providing independent maintenance services to nearly 1,500 signed clients around the world, including more than 135 Fortune 500 and Global 100 companies, and six years of litigation and a trial that concluded in 2015, the Court has now ruled on all the remaining post-trial motions in Oracle vs. Rimini Street. Oracle software licensees are the ultimate winners with free market choice to shop a variety of different support vendors, services offerings and pricing models. Once the Court issues the final judgment, the only remaining litigation in the case will be expected appeals by Rimini Street and Seth A. Ravin, Rimini Street's CEO and chairman, to reduce the Court's damages award by more than 70% and overturn the injunction award. Any appeals are likely to continue for several more years before a final outcome.

Rimini added that Oracle didn't win as much in damages as it had hoped.

Oracle, in a consistent pattern of business conduct, over-reached and claimed more than $350 million in total damages and costs. The Court only awarded Oracle a total of $124.3 million, which included a one-time fair-market license payment of $35.6 million for Rimini Street's "innocent infringement" of certain Oracle software copyrights. The total award is less than 36% of the total sought by Oracle.

The Court will issue an "injunction," which is a court order that will simply prohibit the previous conduct by Rimini Street that was found by the Jury and Court to be infringing. However, since Rimini Street had ceased said conduct by July 2014, there is no expected impact on any current or future service offering, or on Rimini Street's current or future ability to service any of its clients.

In either case, Rimini will appeal the ruling, but said it will pay up to $124.3 million should it lose.

The news from Oracle lands as it is holding its Wall Street analyst meeting at its OpenWorld conference.

For its part, Rimini Street continues to chug along. The company issued a statement noting that it had a 39 percent revenue growth rate across its Oracle product lines for the year ending June 30.

Rimini said that its Oracle database and middleware support efforts are showing strong demand.

Since Oracle won $50 million in damages against Rimini last year, the third party support provider raised $125 million in a strategic debt deal.

[Updated September 23, 2016]

Oracle issued the following statement:

It took Rimini Street less than 24 hours to concoct a press release that marks a new low for dishonesty, even for a company that has engaged in "significant litigation misconduct." Today, Rimini is lying to customers and the general public in claiming that "The Court noted that 'Rimini's ability to compete against Oracle in the software support service market would not be lost with an injunction, and thus, the public would still have access to competition in that market.'"

What the Court actually wrote was that "Rimini has repeatedly represented to the court that its current business model is not based on its prior infringing conduct. Taking defendants' statements as true, then Rimini's ability to compete against Oracle in the software support service market would not be lost with an injunction, and thus, the public would still have access to competition in that market." (Emphasis added.) Rimini is thus telling customers that Rimini's own representations to the Court are findings by the Court, and that is simply false. Further, to the extent anyone is tempted to accept Rimini's representations to the Court as true -- which would be dangerous considering the Court found Rimini engaged in "significant litigation misconduct" -- it should be noted that Rimini also has represented to the Court "If the Court enters the proposed injunction, Rimini could suffer significant harm to its lawful business and to its ability to litigate contested conduct in the second action still pending in this Court."

Oracle recommends that customers read the Court's opinion for themselves, as customers should be gravely concerned about doing business with a company that has shown "callous disregard for Oracle's copyrights and computer systems," and that built its business model "entirely on its infringement of Oracle's copyrighted software and its improper access and downloading of data."

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