Oracle Gets Whopping|$46 Million in Legal Fees

     LAS VEGAS (CN) — A federal judge has ordered Rimini Street, an independent support provider for enterprise software, to pay Oracle $46.2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs for copyright infringement.
     U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks found that Rimini’s copyright infringement arose from a “clear misreading of Oracle’s software licensing agreements and a conscious disregard for the manner that Rimini used and housed Oracle’s copyrighted software programs on its own servers.”
     The Wednesday ruling calls Rimini’s defense against copyright infringement “not reasonable.” Hicks added that “it is undisputed that defendants ignored their preservation obligations and destroyed evidence prior to trial, including a key computer directory containing Oracle software that Rimini used for multiple customers in violation of customer licenses.”
     Oracle sought $35,627,807.99 in attorney’s fees, $4,950,560.70 in taxable costs and $17,636,755.68 in nontaxable costs for a total of $58,215,124.37.
     Due to billing inconsistencies, such as block-billing entries, Hicks reduced the attorneys’ fees by 20 percent, for an award of $28,502,246.40.
     He reduced by about 25 percent Oracle’s request for nontaxable costs, and awarded it $12,774,550.26, and granted Oracle’s full request for $4,950,560.70 in taxable costs.
     The total award for attorney’s fees and costs comes to $46,227,363.36.
     Rimini and its CEO and owner Seth Ravin were the defendants.
     Oracle also sought prejudgment interest on $35.6 million in damages for copyright infringement at the higher prime rate to compensate for inflation. But Hicks said prejudgment interest must be based on the 52-week Treasury bill rate, and set the rate based on what it was when the infringement began, in late 2006, rather than when judgment was entered.
     He also awarded prejudgment interest at the Nevada statutory rate on $14.4 million in damages awarded by a jury for violations of California’s computer-access laws.
     Oracle sued Las Vegas-based Rimini Street and Ravin in 2010, claiming they copied several of Oracle’s copyrighted programs. It sought $209 million in lost profits.
     Oracle, one of the world’s largest software companies, reported more than $38 billion in revenue in 2014 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.
     In a statement, the company said it will pay the final judgment pending appeal. It will not appeal the one-time fair-market license of $35.6 million for its “innocent” infringement.
     The company also called Oracle’s lawsuit an “overreach” typical of Oracle’s “pattern of business conduct” in the statement.     
     “Rimini Street will take responsibility for its past practices and pay the one-time fair market license fee of $35.6 million to Oracle for innocently infringing certain of its software copyrights,” Rimini Street general counsel Daniel B. Winslow said. “When one considers Oracle’s other litigation losses, such as the $100 million in value Oracle recently agreed to pay the state of Oregon for Oracle’s alleged misconduct, the nearly $250 million Oracle agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice for Oracle’s alleged misconduct, the $3.1 billion Oracle has recently been ordered by the court to pay HP Enterprise as damages for Oracle’s misconduct, and its failed $8.8 billion claim against Google, Rimini Street is confident that the final judgment in this case is yet another Oracle overreach and will not stand on appeal.”

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