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Oracle Wins Order Holding Rimini Street in Contempt in High-Stakes IP Lawsuit

Paul, Weiss secured a significant victory for software company Oracle in its long-running copyright infringement dispute with Rimini Street Inc., a third-party provider of software support services.

Following a seven-day bench trial in September 2021 led by litigation partners Bill Isaacson and Jessica Phillips, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks of the District of Nevada held Rimini Street in contempt for several violations of a 2018 permanent injunction blocking Rimini from reproducing, preparing derivative works from or distributing certain Oracle copyrighted software. He also ordered compensatory sanctions of $630,000 to be paid to Oracle as well as “sizeable” attorneys’ fees and costs. “Rimini’s contemptuous conduct was extensive, deliberate, and pervasive—Rimini repeatedly infringed on Oracle’s copyrights in essentially the same manner the Court and a jury previously determined was unlawful,” Judge Hicks wrote. “And Rimini has been on notice since at least 2015 that this conduct is prohibited, three to four years prior to committing the infringing conduct.”

The 11-year-old litigation stems from a dispute over whether Rimini’s third-party software support violates Oracle’s copyrights. Selling support for its copyrighted software products is Oracle’s primary source of revenue, but Rimini Street launched a competing business selling support for Oracle’s software products by stealing a library of Oracle’s copyrighted software and selling its support services at a rate 50% below Oracle’s support services rates.

The lawsuit first went to trial in 2015, where Oracle, with a trial team led by litigation partners Karen Dunn and Bill Isaacson, secured a verdict in its favor and ultimately received $90 million in damages, costs and attorneys’ fees. Oracle successfully defended that copyright infringement judgment on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. In August 2019, Oracle also prevailed on Rimini’s appeal of the permanent injunction barring Rimini’s infringement and award of attorneys’ fees issued in the case, known as Rimini I.

Rimini also filed a declaratory judgment action in 2014, known as Rimini II, alleging that it had changed its software support practices. Oracle challenged Rimini’s new practices, filing counterclaims for copyright infringement, business torts and other violations. On September 14, 2020, the court ruled on seven summary judgment motions filed in Rimini II, granting in full or in part every Oracle motion and denying in full every Rimini Street motion. Rimini Street has no remaining claims for damages against Oracle.

In addition to partners Bill Isaacson and Jessica Phillips, the Paul, Weiss trial team included litigation associate Erica Spevack.

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