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Oracle Wins Infringement Ruling In Long-Running Legal Battle With Rimini Street

In the latest chapter of a legal battle that began in 2010, software support vendor Rimini Street was found to have infringed Oracle's PeopleSoft ERP software copyright.

Rimini Street, a Las Vegas-based vendor that recently filed for an IPO, said Monday its business won't be interrupted despite a recent court ruling that it infringed on Oracle's software copyrights.

Rimini Street provides maintenance and support services for Oracle applications, including its PeopleSoft, Siebel and JD Edwards software, as well as for SAP software. Rimini Street claims it can provide support services for more than 50 percent less than what Oracle and SAP charge.

Oracle sued Rimini Street in January 2010 alleging copyright infringement and unfair competition. Last week, the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas issued a ruling on the copyright infringement part of that lawsuit. The other part remains unsettled, as does Rimini Street's countersuit against Oracle in March 2010.

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"The court's ruling is an important vindication of Oracle's intellectual property rights," Oracle attorney David Boies said in a statement Monday. "As the court's ruling explains, Rimini Street has used illegal and unlicensed copies of PeopleSoft software as the basis of its business. We look forward to holding Rimini Street and [its CEO] Seth Ravin accountable at trial for the damages caused by their misconduct."

Ravin, in a letter to Rimini Street customers Monday, said the company stopped offering the hosted option in 2012 and has moved JD Edwards and Siebel customers to the client-hosted model. He also said Rimini Street is working to move PeopleSoft customers to the client-hosted model and will pay for their migration costs.

Despite the court ruling, Ravin acknowledged that the Oracle-Rimini Street lawsuit isn't settled and is likely to end up in front of a jury. To keep investors from getting scared away from Rimini Street's IPO, he made it clear that independent software support is a viable business that's here to stay.

"Oracle agrees that it is legal for third parties to offer independent enterprise software support to Oracle licensees, and Oracle licensees have a legal right to purchase Rimini Street support services instead of Oracle annual support services," Ravin said in the letter.

In a Monday blog post, R "Ray" Wang, principal at Constellation Research, recommended that organizations pay close attention to third-party maintenance and outsourcing rights in software licensing agreements, especially when buying cloud-based software.

"Despite a perception of simplicity in software acquisition, many cloud contracts require all the rigor and due diligence of contracts for on-premises licensed software," Wang said in the blog post.


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