Court Trims $124M Oracle Win Against Rimini Street

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By Anandashankar Mazumdar

A federal appeals court reduced a $124 million judgment won by Oracle USA Inc. in 2016 against software support company Rimini Street Inc.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Jan. 8 reversed a lower court’s rulings that Rimini Street violated California and Nevada laws on data access and computer crimes. However, it affirmed that the company violated Oracle’s copyrights by making unauthorized copies of Oracle software to service its customers, Oracle licensees.

The computer crimes laws didn’t apply to Rimini Street’s behavior because it had permission to use Oracle’s data, even though the method by which it got the data—automated downloading—violated Oracle’s terms of use.

The ruling shows that when a party has permission to access data, a violation of license terms doesn’t necessarily amount to a computer crimes violation.

Legal Fees, Costs Also Reduced

To account for the elimination of the data access and computer crimes verdicts, the court cut the original award by $14.4 million and the prejudgment interest by $5.2 million. It also eliminated $30 million previously awarded to Oracle for legal fees and costs. The court let stand a copyright infringement award of $35.6 million plus interest.

Rimini Street had unsuccessfully argued that it was entitled to make copies of Oracle software because its customers held licenses from Oracle.

The appeals court also told the lower court to reconsider its permanent injunction in light of the fact that Rimini Street was now liable only for the copyright claims.

Judge Jeremy D. Fogel issued the court’s opinion, which was joined by Judges Susan P. Graber and Michelle T. Friedland.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP represented Rimini Street. Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP, and Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP represented Oracle.

The case is Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini Street, Inc. , 9th Cir., No. 16-16832, 1/8/18 .

To contact the reporter on this story: Anandashankar Mazumdar in Washington at amazumdar@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek at mwilczek@bloomberglaw.com

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