Oracle backs down on million dollar copyright allegations against Rimini Street


Oracle has amended its largest damages claim against third-party support provider, Rimini Street, ahead of its copyright trial.

In a recent court filing, Oracle dropped its biggest damages theory of copyright infringement for its PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel-branded software products to “streamline” the issues for trial.

Oracle had alleged that damages worth $210 million (£134m) were due as copyright had been infringed based on fair market value, measured by hypothetical license or income approach.

Rimini Street, which opened its doors in 2005, offers support for Oracle or SAP licensees at a 90 percent reduction, meaning that long term customers can cut off their expensive vendor maintenance fees. It allows businesses the chance to remain on current software releases without needing to upgrade for “at least 15 years”.

Sensor manufacturer TT Electronics told ComputerworldUK it saved “hundreds of thousands of pounds” moving its support contract to SAP's rival Rimini Street, after its CIO found the firm had only made four support calls to SAP's service over five years.

Public sector firms in the UK are able to procure its application maintenance services more easily after it was placed on the government’s Enterprise Application Support Services (EASS) agreement last year.

The September trial will settle a six-year battle over the legality of Rimini Street’s business model. The case could establish ground rules for companies that provide maintenance services for other vendor’s software.

Rimini Street today claimed that the Oracle copyright damages, equate to less than $9 million in reality. That is “if Oracle can prove any damages at all”, it said.

It added: “Rimini Street looks forward to its day in court as it strives to reach conclusion with Oracle. In the meantime, Rimini Street continues to deliver the highest value support and ultra-responsive service to its clients, expand its capabilities around the globe and continues leading the independent enterprise software maintenance market with its new, innovative class of enterprise support services.

In August last year a judge dismissed Rimini Street's defamation claim against Oracle, saying that Oracle truly had been subject to "massive theft" under the hands of Rimini Street CEO Seth Ravin.

In court documents, Judge Larry Hicks wrote: "It is undisputed that Rimini engaged in theft of Oracle's intellectual property by repeatedly making multiple copies of Oracle's copyrighted Enterprise Software programs to support its software support service clients".

“Oracle looks forward to the September trial in this case,” said Dorian Daley, Oracle’s General Counsel in a statement released when the trial date was announced earlier this month.

“Oracle filed this lawsuit to stop Rimini’s unlawful conduct. Even though the Court has found that Rimini’s practices were infringing, Rimini and Ravin have not committed to stopping those practices. We look forward to presenting our case to the jury to protect Oracle’s intellectual property rights.”

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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