Oracle Bests Rimini Street in Latest Court Battle
August 25, 2014 Dan Burger
Rimini Street, the third-party software maintenance company that continues to build business by contracting its services to Oracle and SAP customers, finds itself holding the dirty end of the stick after a federal judge last week ruled Oracle’s copyrights were encroached upon by Rimini Street. The judge also determined Rimini Street’s counterclaims against Oracle for defamation and unfair competition are unfounded.
Oracle in 2010 filed a lawsuit claiming Rimini Street stole Oracle intellectual property in the course of building its software support business. The legal drama is playing out in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Earlier this year, the same court concluded that Rimini violated copyrights on Oracle’s PeopleSoft application.
This latest outcome focused on Rimini’s use of 200 unlicensed copies of Oracle’s database software that were used on servers with hosted client test/development environments. The retail price of the software was estimated at $10,000 per license. Rimini Street said it no longer uses the Oracle software.
In a statement to the press, Oracle attorney Geoff Howard said the two court rulings are “an important vindication of Oracle’s intellectual property.”
In a statement released by Rimini Street, the official company response was that it disagrees with the judge’s characterization that its license “dispute with Oracle” was theft of intellectual property. The company said it reserves its right to appeal the theft of intellectual property as well as its counterclaims against Oracle for defamation and unfair competition.
Since the ruling, Rimini Street has contacted its customers to calm any nervousness. It described the court action as helping to “narrow the issues that eventually need to be decided by a jury.”
Underlying the legal battle is the Rimini Street business plan that software support for Oracle customers at approximately a 50 percent discount compared to what Oracle charges and that Rimini’s customers operate in stable environments without pressure to implement software upgrades. Oracle’s JD Edwards customers include a substantial number of organizations that run the ERP software on IBM i.