Rimini Street Counter Sues Oracle
April 5, 2010 Alex Woodie
Rimini Street last week announced it has filed a counter claim against Oracle concerning Rimini’s third-party maintenance business for Oracle’s ERP and CRM applications, including many JD Edwards customers. Rimini’s lawsuit, which comes two months after Oracle sued Rimini for allegedly stealing protected support information and application code, alleges Oracle’s lawsuit is “baseless” and that the software giant has engaged in illegal and anti-competitive business tactics for the last five years.
Rimini says it filed the lawsuit to “vehemently deny” the “false and malicious allegations” Oracle made against Rimini in the January lawsuit, which you can read more about here. Specifically, Rimini rejects Oracle’s claims that the automated download tools it used on client’s behalf to obtain tens of thousands of copyrighted files from Oracle’s technical support Web site was illegal. Both suits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas, where Rimini is based.
In addition to refuting Oracle’s claims, Rimini lobbed some accusations of its own at Oracle. The company alleges that Oracle and its predecessors have engaged in a “systematic campaign” to destroy Rimini’s third-party maintenance business since it was founded five years ago. Specific claims include copyright misuse, defamation, trade libel, disparagement, and unfair competition.
Rimini’s lawsuit indicates that it will strongly defend its business in court, unlike another third-party maintenance provider, SAP‘s TomorrowNow subsidiary, which shut down operations after Oracle sued them. While TomorrowNow was shut down, SAP continues to defend against Oracle’s lawsuit, and the trial could start as early as this fall.
In its lawsuit, Rimini detailed some of the allegedly anti-competitive business tactics that Oracle has used against them. The suit alleges a spate of “hostile letters;” unenforceable changes to the usage terms of the Oracle support Web site that forbade automated download tools; preventing Rimini from accessing Oracle’s Web site by blocking Rimini’s IP; interfering with Rimini’s work with a large client switching from Oracle to Rimini support; and, last but not least, the lawsuit filed in January.
While the recent lawsuits bear resemblance to the suit that Oracle filed against SAP and TomorrowNow, Rimini Street CEO Seth Ravin (who was previously TomorrowNow’s president) maintains that Rimini uses entirely different business processes than his former company.
While executives with SAP admitted that TomorrowNow employees made some “inappropriate” downloads of information on Oracle’s Web site, it does not appear that Rimini will offer any such concessions. The company says it maintains separate data “silos” for each customer, and only delivers Oracle software or support materials to customers that are “entitled to receive such materials,” the company states.
Rimini says it sought Oracle’s cooperation on numerous occasions, and even offered to bring in an auditor to prove that Rimini was not violating Oracle’s copyrighted material or impinging upon its intellectual property. Attempts to get Oracle’s cooperation went for naught, Rimini says.
Oracle, which used the law firm of Boies, Schiller, and Flexner in its initial lawsuit, is being defended by three law firms against Rimini. Meanwhile, Rimini is using three different law firms, including Wilson Sonsini and Greenberg Traurig, in its lawsuit against Oracle.