Last week was not a very good week for third party support provider Rimini Street. Federal Judge Larry Hicks of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, dismissed Rimini Street’s counterclaims of defamation and unfair trade practices. He stated, “Truth is an absolute defense to defamation.” He also found that Oracle’s claims that Rimini Street had engaged in massive theft of Oracle’s intellectual property are true. He stated, “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.” In addition, he found that Rimini Street had in fact infringed Oracle’s database copyrights.
This recent ruling is unquestionably a major setback for Rimini Street and the third party support services it provides, especially when you take into account the fact that this same court and Judge previously determined back in February that Rimini Street had infringed Oracle’s PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Siebel copyrights.
Certainly Oracle sees it this way as well. In fact, Oracle’s Attorney Geoff Howard stated, “The Court’s ruling today, like the court’s ruling in February, is an important vindication of Oracle’s intellectual property rights…..After today’s ruling, Rimini can no longer deny that it engaged in massive theft of Oracle’s intellectual property.” Of course Rimini Street feels differently and has down played the significance of these rulings. Rimini Street was very quick to point out in a letter sent to Rimini Street’s clients that “because the Court’s rulings (both last week and in February) relate to processes and software no longer in use at Rimini Street, these rulings will not cause any interruptions to service for any client or any product line.” Rimini Street, within a statement issued to the media, also stated that they “respectfully disagree with the Court’s rulings today……Rimini Street looks forward to our long-awaited and anticipated day in front of a jury, and we will continue to vigorously defend the lawsuit and attempt to reach a fair resolution.”
Given the importance of this case and the potential impact on the third party support market, we will continue to cover the Oracle vs. Rimini Street case all the way up to an actual decision being handed down. Until that point, we would strongly recommend all organizations that are considering moving off of Oracle’s support and onto Rimini Street’s support offering to challenge Rimini Street to assure them that they will not be left with buyer’s remorse.
As always, we welcome your comments and perspective on how the Oracle vs. Rimini Street case has progressed to date and how it may be decided. Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly at [email protected].