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ServiceKey, Oracle end 'grey market' code spat without bloodshed

No damages, no tears, just a shedload of paperwork to fill

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US managed services provider ServiceKey has walked away from legal action brought by Oracle over an alleged "grey market conspiracy" without having to cough a bean in compensation.

The software titan's legal eagles filed a lawsuit against two US channel firms in February 2012, including Georgia-based ServiceKey and Delaware-based DLT Federal Business Systems Corporation.

In the case, Oracle alleged that the pair had "conspired" to snatch and distribute copyrighted proprietary Oracle software, claiming they had unlawfully used the login details needed to download code from a password-protected site.

Oracle claimed the two firms had lifted "vast quantities" of software patches and updates for proprietary software that they then sold to customers including the US Navy and the Food and Drug Administration.

Larry's lot had been seeking compensation and a commitment that the two firms would cease and desist form their alleged actions.

The CEO at ServiceKey, Angela Vines, had protested her innocence and last night issued a statement confirming the settlement.

"The effect of this settlement is to fully resolve all the time-consuming and expense of litigation that ServiceKey has endured over the past year and a half," she said.

Under the terms of the settlement found by The Channel, ServiceKey officers and staff must search all computers and storage locations and destroy any Oracle intellectual property they were not entitled to use or sell.

The MSP must also allow Oracle to audit annually any work relating to Sun/Oracle hardware for the next half a decade.

ServiceKey must not access or log into any password-protected elements of Oracle's website, whether on its own behalf or on behalf of a third party, and it must not give, receive or sell Oracle/Sun software including updates, bug fixes or patches.

Additionally, the MSP must not represent itself to any third party as an official partner that can access or obtain Oracle software or support materials, the settlement said.

However, under the settlement, ServiceKey has "no obligation to pay damages" to Oracle, and both parties will pay their own legal bills.

Vines thanked all who were "loyal and continued to support us through this entire distraction".

The agreement requires certain approvals from the US District Court of the Northern District of California, which are expected soon.

A hearing between DTL Federal Business Corporation and Oracle is set for July.

Oracle refused to comment. ®

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