Oracle wins latest round in intellectual property war with Rimini Street

By Graeme Burton
15 Aug 2014 View Comments
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison

Rimini Street, the third-party software maintenance company, has lost the latest round in its four-year intellectual property infringement case against software giant Oracle.

The US district court in Las Vegas found in favour of Oracle that Rimini Street had engaged in "massive theft" of Oracle intellectual property, and dismissed counterclaims by Rimini Street alleging defamation and unfair competition.

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It follows a defeat in February when the court found that Rimini Street had infringed Oracle's PeopleSoft copyrights, as well as JD Edwards and Siebel.

The latest ruling relates to 25 downloads and 200 unlicensed copies of Oracle's database software.

The case relates to services provided by Rimini Street to Oracle applications users - including users of legacy applications that Oracle acquired - in which Rimini Street hosted clients' applications in its data centres. Rimini Street argued that client licences were covered, but Oracle argued otherwise.

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

"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 [chief executive] Seth Ravin accountable at trial for the damages caused by their misconduct."

However, Ravin sought to play down the ruling in a letter to customers.

"The court has ruled on some additional disputes in our litigation with Oracle. These rulings help narrow the issues that eventually need to be decided by a jury in Las Vegas. Although the case is progressing through the judicial process, there is still no trial date set," he wrote.

Ravin was also keen to reassure customers that there would be interruption to their systems as the case related to processes and software no longer used by Rimini Street, and that the firm would cover "all reasonable client costs associated with the migration of all Rimini-hosted environments to client-hosted environments".

It will also pay any compensation awarded by the courts to Oracle.

This is not the first time that Ravin has crossed swords with Oracle. His company TomorrowNow, which was sold to SAP in January 2005, was blown out of the water and closed in 2008 when a court found that the company had systematically downloaded and used Oracle's software without paying the appropriate licence fees.

The $1.3bn damages awarded by the court in that instance was, however, cut to $272m on appeal.

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