Brief: Oracle’s Customers Are The Real Winners From The Rimini Street Verdict

September 10, 2014
Author: 
Tomás O'Leary

“Bloody, but unbowed” – Invictus.

Forrester Research have written a report on the recent verdict from the District Court of Nevada on the long-running Oracle v. Rimini Street legal case.

If you are not familiar with this prize fight, it was one of the most important legal battles fought between two adversaries; one, at the time in 2010, a $27bn behemoth, and the other a $17m upstart. At stake was the future, and the continued “super” profitability, of the $200bn software maintenance industry, in particular the disruptive version of that maintenance being conducted by the 3SP (third-party support providers) industry.

In January 2010 Oracle sued Rimini Street, a 3SP for Oracle products, claiming they violated Oracle’s licence agreements, committed copyright infringement and violated federal and state laws. Throughout the lawsuit Oracle painted Rimini Street as intellectual property thieves.

Rimini Street, however, hit back, counter claiming for defamation, copyright misuse and unfair competition. After a bruising five year battle Oracle won $50 million in damages from Rimini Street, but that is a long way short (almost 75%) of the crippling damages that Oracle originally sought. The Nevada District Court appears to have rejected Oracle’s claim, made in the original January 2010 court filing, that Rimini Street’s business model “is corrupt”, nor did they agree that it “threatens to cause irreparable harm to Oracle”. Instead, the jury found that Rimini Street’s copyright infringements were “innocent infringements”, and therefore assessed relatively small damages.

In the Forrester report examining the lawsuit and the impact of the verdict on the 3SP industry Duncan Jones notes, “this ultimately bolsters the legitimacy of the basic 3SP business model”, and he further counsels companies to “consider 3SPs within a wider reassessment of your tech suppliers”.

Commenting on the case and the Forrester report, Tomás O’LearyCEO Origina, said, “3SPs like Origina are dedicated to substantially reducing the costs of software support. We hope that the doubters in large companies will realise that they have nothing to fear from software licensors when considering independent 3SPsIn terms of software support the tide has now turned; it is a rising tide for 3SPs and especially their customers.”

In the Forrester report Jones also lists how CIOs have used 3SPs to improve service and stimulate innovation.

Why Read This Brief?

“Over 1,000 companies use third-party support providers (3SPs) such Rimini Street, Spinnaker Support, and Origina. The end of Oracle’s lawsuit against Rimini Street removes some of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) that was restricting the market’s growth. Both sides claim victory, but who are the real winners? This brief looks beyond the two companies’ spinning of the verdict and analyzes its immediate implications for CIOs.” – Duncan Jones, Forrester.

“In the fell clutch of circumstance,

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance,

My head is bloody, but unbowed.”

Invictus by William Ernest Henley, 1888.

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