Rimini Appeals Order of Sanctions in Oracle Copyright Suit

Rimini Street Inc., a company that provides after-license software support services, appealed an order issued last month requiring it to pay $630,000 in statutory sanctions for violation of a previous copyright infringement ruling. Its notice of appeal was filed with the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday.

The case dates back to 2010 when Oracle sued Rimini, alleging that it infringed several software copyrights. Oracle sells enterprise software as well as provides after-license software support services to customers who license its copyrighted software; as such, Rimini and Oracle directly compete to provide those services, the opinion said.

The district court ruled in Oracle’s favor on summary judgment, finding infringement in addition to the determination that Rimini violated the “facilities restriction” within Oracle’s standard licensing agreement when “it hosted its clients’ development environments on its own computer systems, a process called ‘local hosting.’” Too, and after a month-long trial, the jury found in favor of Oracle on other copyright infringement claims related to Oracle’s J.D. Edwards and Siebel software. 

The Ninth Circuit affirmed both the trial court’s grant of summary judgment and the jury’s Copyright Act infringement verdict.

In August 2018, the district court granted Oracle’s motion for a permanent injunction, which enjoins Rimini from further infringement of Oracle’s copyrighted software. The following year, Oracle requested to reopen discovery to confirm Rimini’s compliance with the injunction. After discovery, Oracle filed a motion for an order to show cause why Rimini should not be held in contempt for violating the permanent injunction.

The court’s January order on Oracle’s motion to show cause, now the subject of the instant appeal, addressed ten discrete compliance issues. The 56-page opinion delved into whether Rimini violated the permanent injunction, namely whether its non-compliance was the result of a good faith and reasonable interpretation of the order. Specifically, the court looked at various Rimini client interactions and held Rimini in contempt as to five of the ten issues. 

The opinion detailed interactions with clients like Texas Children’s Hospital, Matheson Trucking, and Johnson Controls. In some instances, the court found that though individual transgressions may have been of a more technical nature, taken together they amounted to substantial non-compliance sufficient to warrant a contempt of court finding.

Rimini’s challenge will now head to the Ninth Circuit. Its opening brief is due May 18.

Oracle is represented by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPMorgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and its own counsel. Rimini is represented by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP and its own counsel.