Rimini Street Countersues Oracle Charging 'Anti-Competitive' Tactics

Third-party service provider Rimini Street, responding to an Oracle lawsuit charging it with intellectual property theft, has countersued charging the giant software company with engaging in anti-competitive tactics including copyright misuse, defamation, disparagement, trade libel and unfair competition.

The counter-suit is the latest development in ongoing legal battles between Oracle and companies that provide third-party support services for its applications.

In a statement Las Vegas-based Rimini Street said Oracle "has a long history of trying to stifle Rimini Street competition" and charged the company with conducting "a systematic campaign to disrupt and halt Rimini Street's business" since its founding in 2005.

Rimini Street provides maintenance and support services for Oracle applications, including its PeopleSoft, Siebel and JD Edwards software, as well as for software from Oracle rival SAP. Rimini argues that it can provide the support services at lower cost " as much as 50 percent less " than Oracle and SAP charge.

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Oracle sued Rimini Street and the company's CEO, Seth Ravin, in January, charging them with engaging in what Oracle called "a massive theft of Oracle's software and related support materials through an illegal business model." Oracle charges that Rimini Street uses customer credentials to access Oracle's technical support site and download far more software and support materials than the customers are allowed under their license agreements.

Oracle is pursuing a similar lawsuit against SAP, which in 2005 acquired TomorrowNow, another third-party service company. SAP shut TomorrowNow down in 2008. A trial in that case is currently scheduled for this fall.

Ravin co-founded TomorrowNow, then left to found Rimini Street.

Next: Rimini's Response

Rimini Street's response and counter suit, like Oracle's original suit, were filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. "With its filing, Rimini Street aims to end Oracle's five-year campaign of anticompetitive tactics against Rimini Street that most recently includes a baseless lawsuit," Rimini Street said in a statement issued Monday morning.

"Additionally, Rimini Street announced today that it filed its response to Oracle's complaint, showing Rimini Street's business processes and procedures are entirely legal and vehemently denying Oracle's false and malicious allegations."

In its statement Rimini Street said Oracle has "interfered with authorized work on behalf of Rimini Street clients" by changing Website usage terms and blocking Rimini Street's IP addresses. The company said Oracle has not responded to its offers to work out an agreement on the dispute.

"Oracle is committed to customer choice and vigorous competition, but draws the line with any company, big or small, that steals its intellectual property," an Oracle spokesperson said in a statement Monday responding to Rimini Street's latest actions. "The massive theft that Rimini and Mr. Ravin engaged in is not healthy competition. We will prove this in court."