$209M Oracle Lawsuit Won’t Be Split

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – Software support company Rimini Street cannot bifurcate the $209 million copyright lawsuit Oracle filed against it, a federal judge ruled.
     U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks denied Rimini Street’s motions to separate the trial into two key phases and separate the evidence for each.
     Oracle develops, manufactures and licenses computer software and provides support services. Las Vegas-based Rimini provides similar software support services for Oracle customers and competes directly with Oracle to provide them, Hicks ruled in his brief Aug. 26 order.
     Oracle claims Rimini copied several of its copyrighted programs to compete for customers in support services, and that the infringement was “masterminded” by Rimini CEO Seth Ravin. Trial has been set for Sept. 14.
     Ravin sought a trial with a liability phase first, followed by a punitive damages and willful infringement phase if needed. He wanted evidence excluded from the first phase if it related to punitive damages and willful infringement.
     Oracle opposed the motions to exclude evidence during any phase of the trial and separating willful infringement and liability portions, but did not oppose holding a second phase if needed to determine punitive damages.
     Federal rules allow the court to bifurcate a trial for convenience, to avoid prejudice and to “expedite and economize the trial process,” but Hicks ruled that separating liability and willful infringement as well as evidence allowed would not be beneficial, and denied those motions.
     He denied the motions to separate the trial’s liability and willful infringement portions and their respective evidence, but granted the motion to hold a punitive damages phase afterward, if necessary.
     “Bifurcation will cause an unnecessary duplication of evidence and testimony” and require the same witnesses and documents if broken into two phases, Hicks wrote.
     Oracle seeks $209 million in lost profits from Rimini.
     Rimini says Oracle shouldn’t get anywhere near that amount.
     “At trial, Rimini Street will introduce expert testimony that Oracle copyright damages – if Oracle can prove any damages at all – are less than $9 million,” Rimini said in July.
     “If the court, following any appeals, determines that Rimini Street did indeed infringe Oracle’s intellectual property rights with any of its support processes, Rimini Street stands ready and willing to take full responsibility and fairly compensate Oracle for any proven damages,” it added.
     In a related case in the same court, Rimini sued Oracle in October 2014, seeking declaratory judgment that it has not violated Oracle’s copyrights since at least July 31, 2014.
     Oracle, one of the world’s largest software companies, reported more than $38 billion in revenue last year from more than 400,000 customers in 145 nations, including all of the Fortune 100 companies.
     Rimini describes itself as an independent provider of software support for several Oracle software programs, including PeopleSoft, Hyperion and Oracle Database.
     Rimini attorney W. West Allen with Lewis Roca & Rothgerber was not immediately available for comment Monday. Nor was Oracle’s attorney, Beko Reblitz-Richardson, with Boies Schiller & Flexner.

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