Menu
Rimini Street did steal Oracle's intellectual property, judge says

Rimini Street did steal Oracle's intellectual property, judge says

The third-part support company had claimed defamation, but a federal judge found Oracle's accusations were true

A federal judge has dismissed a defamation claim against Oracle by third-party support vendor Rimini Street, saying Oracle was telling the truth when it accused the company of "massive theft" of its software.

"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," Judge Larry Hicks wrote in a ruling filed on Tuesday in a federal district court in Nevada.

Rimini is defending itself against an Oracle suit claiming it stole Oracle's intellectual property. This week's ruling is a major setback for the third-party support provider.

Also in Tuesday's ruling, Hicks found that Rimini Street had committed copyright infringement with respect to Oracle's database software. Earlier this year, he had determined that Rimini Street violated copyrights on Oracle's PeopleSoft application.

In his latest ruling, Hicks dismissed a number of defenses and counterclaims that Rimini Street had made against Oracle, including that Oracle had made defamatory statements to the media in order to hurt Rimini's business.

"Truth is an absolute defense to defamation," Hicks wrote. An Oracle spokeswoman's statement "that Rimini engaged in 'massive theft' of Oracle's intellectual property" is truthful, he added.

No trial date has been set for the case. A Rimini Street spokesman couldn't immediately provide comment Thursday on Hicks' latest ruling.

Rimini Street provides support for SAP and Oracle software customers who no longer wish to pay for vendor-provided maintenance, offering a 50 percent discount on their current support bills. These customers tend to have well-stabilized implementations and no desire to apply the continual upgrades provided under a vendor support contract.

The company's CEO, Seth Ravin, was a co-founder of TomorrowNow, a former SAP subsidiary that offered similar services to Oracle customers. Oracle sued SAP in 2007 over TomorrowNow's business practices, saying they infringed on its copyrights. It subsequently won a sizable judgment after SAP admitted liability, although the matter is not yet concluded.

Oracle then sued Rimini Street in 2010, saying Ravin had duplicated TomorrowNow's "corrupt business model."

Industry observers expect the Oracle lawsuit's outcome will help lay out concrete ground rules for how companies can perform third-party software support legally. Right now, the market is quite limited, with just Rimini and a handful of other small companies in business.

Oracle, like other enterprise software companies, derives a large chunk of its revenue and profit from the annual maintenance fees customers pay for vendor support, and is loath to see those money streams diminished by third-party competitors.

Despite the specter of litigation, Rimini has experienced rapid growth.

Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 rose 37 percent to US$20.4 million, while the number of active support clients jumped 30 percent to 574, according to Rimini Street.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IT managementCIO roleOraclelegalservicessoftwareSAPit strategyintellectual propertyRimini StreetCivil lawsuits

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments