Oracle confirmed in trial testimony that third-party support is lawful for Oracle licensees to purchase
Trial clarified permitted conduct and processes for vendors providing third-party support
No disruption of service for Rimini Street clients
LAS VEGAS, October 22, 2015 – Rimini Street, Inc., the leading global independent provider of enterprise software support services for SAP SE’s (NYSE:SAP) Business Suite and BusinessObjects software and Oracle Corporation’s (NYSE:ORCL) Siebel, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, E-Business Suite, Oracle Database, Oracle Middleware, Hyperion, Oracle Retail and Oracle Agile PLM, today declared enterprise software customers and free market choice the biggest winners in the recent Oracle vs. Rimini Street civil trial. The Company also provided additional details regarding the October 13, 2015 verdict and other post-trial activities.
The jury verdict included the following findings:
- Jury rejected Oracle’s damages claim of $246 million, instead awarded $50 million
- Jury found Rimini Street infringed, but found the infringement “innocent”
- Jury rejected Oracle’s claim that infringement was “willful”
- Jury found that Oracle suffered no lost profits as a result of “innocent” infringement
- Jury found violations of some computer access laws
- Jury rejected Oracle’s claims for illegal tortious business conduct, such as inducing breach of contract and interference with Oracle’s business relationships
- Jury rejected Oracle’s claims for punitive damages
Legality of Third-Party Support Confirmed
Detailed testimony and evidence provided by Oracle executives and witnesses in the trial confirmed that third-party support is lawful for Oracle licensees to purchase. The evidence presented at trial supported several important principles underlying Rimini Street’s operations and current service offerings: (a) Oracle licensees can choose not to renew their Oracle annual support; (b) Oracle licensees can select, switch to, and use a third-party support provider or self-support instead of renewing and paying Oracle for annual support services; (c) third parties like Rimini Street can legally offer third-party support options to Oracle licensees; and (d) support services can be provided to clients utilizing a remote access connection. These rights enable legal, free market choice for customers who want to shop a variety of different support vendors, services offerings, and pricing models.
Jury Found “Innocent” Infringement
The jury found that Rimini Street “innocently” infringed certain Oracle copyrights. The verdict reflected the jury’s assessment of the fair market value of a license for the actual use of Oracle’s copyrighted works. In determining “innocent infringement,” the court instructed the jury that:
“An infringement is considered ‘innocent’ when the Defendant has proved both of the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
1. The Defendant was not aware that its acts constituted infringement of the copyright; and
2. The Defendant had no reason to believe that its acts constituted an infringement of the copyright.”
A significant portion of conduct at issue in the case stemmed from Rimini Street previously offering its Oracle PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel customers the choice of providing Rimini Street with either remote access to development and test environments on client-hosted servers, or providing Rimini Street with copies of their Oracle software to build development and test environments on Rimini Street-hosted servers. The court had previously held that, based on a court ruling issued in 2014, Oracle PeopleSoft software license agreements generally do not permit Oracle software to be installed or copied on Rimini Street servers. In accordance with the ruling, Rimini Street ceased the use of Oracle software on its servers and transitioned to a remote access connection service model for all clients by July 2014.
With the jury verdict rendered, the parties will now engage in standard post-trial activities. Either party may file motions related to the jury’s findings. After the completion of the post-trial activities, either party may file an appeal from the court’s final judgment.
An “injunction” is a court order that would prohibit or mandate certain activities or conduct that was found infringing or unlawful. Given the jury’s findings and the fact that Rimini Street ceased using the particular processes that Oracle challenged as infringing, Rimini Street does not believe that any injunction relating to any current Rimini Street support process is necessary or warranted.
Other Related Litigation
In 2014, Rimini Street filed a lawsuit against Oracle seeking a judicial finding that Rimini Street’s new development process and tools for PeopleSoft tax, legal, and regulatory updates, implemented by July 2014, do not infringe any Oracle copyrights. Oracle countersued, claiming alleged infringement of PeopleSoft copyrights. This litigation is in the discovery phase, and no trial date has been scheduled.
Customers and Free Market Choice Are Winners in Jury Verdict
“With the trial behind us, and with additional clarity for the industry regarding permitted support processes, Rimini Street is moving forward as the leading, global independent enterprise software support provider,” said Seth A. Ravin, Rimini Street’s CEO and chairman. “We remain focused on providing excellent service to clients, expanding worldwide service capabilities, and innovating the independent support marketplace. Recently, Rimini Street announced preliminary fiscal third quarter results that included 38 percent year-over-year revenue growth and 39 consecutive quarters of growth. Our commitment to the ideals of choice, value and excellent client service have never been stronger.”