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Rimini Street promises 'business as usual' after Oracle IP judgment

Rimini's wrong on Oracle database licence, says judge

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Software support specialist Rimini Street has promised it's "business as usual" despite suffering a setback in its ongoing intellectual property dispute with Larry Ellison's Oracle.

"Oracle has established a prima facie case of copyright infringement as it relates to the identified copies of Oracle Database," said District Judge Larry R. Hicks.

Rimini promised there’d be no interruption in services despite a US judge ruling that the company had pinched Oracle’s intellectual property (IP) on its database.

The US District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, ruled against Rimini’s use of 200 copies of Oracle Database for Windows that the company ran on its servers with hosted client test and dev environments. Rimini lacked the proper licence for the software, according to the judge.

“The rulings in February and today relate to processes and Oracle software no longer in use at Rimini Street, and therefore do not cause interruptions to service for ANY client or ANY product,” chief marketing officer David Rowe said in a statement, complete with caps.

According to Rimini Street, it no longer uses the Oracle database software.

The February court ruling stated that in two of the four incidents cited by Oracle, Rimini was in the wrong. Yet that didn’t give Oracle everything it had hoped for either.

In the latest ruling, dated 12 August, the court also dismissed Rimini’s counterclaims against Oracle. Rimini had alleged defamation and unfair competition against Oracle for its original action over the IP theft allegation. Oracle had sought a summary judgment from the court on Rimini’s counter-claims, which the court granted in the database giant’s favour.

An Oracle statement responding to the court’s latest ruling said that the court found Rimini had engaged in "massive theft" of Oracle IP. Oracle brought the case against Rimini alleging massive theft of its IP by the company during the course of its work supporting Oracle PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel software.

In its own PR shot celebrating the court’s finding on Thursday, Oracle had called the ruling "an important vindication of Oracle’s intellectual property rights".

Rimini said it disagreed with the rulings and reserved the right to appeal. The case is still in the pre-trial phase and the company said it looks forward to its day in court.

A bone of contention is the matter of how third parties can support customers' Oracle software. The nub of the matter is whether providers like Rimini are allowed, under the customer's Oracle licence, to take copies of the software and to support it that way.

Oracle v Rimini is an important case which has huge implications over who will be allowed to support users’ Oracle software – whether that's Oracle itself or independent third parties, too. ®

The case is Oracle USA, Inc. et al v. Rimini Street, Inc. et al, being heard in US District Court, Nevada.

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