Oracle has filed a motion to compel against Rimini Street last month in a strategic move directly related to a 2007 lawsuit against Oracle rivals SAP and TomorrowNow. The motion accuses its owner of using TomorrowNow to illegally acquire Oracle software and support materials.
Rimini Street was founded by former TomorrowNow executive Seth Ravin, who left the company after SAP purchased it in 2005. The Las Vegas company provides support for both Oracle and SAP applications at discounts of up to 50%.
Oracle subpoenaed Rimini Street earlier this year, seeking data about the company’s business model and practices. But Rimini objected to the request on a number of grounds, including confidentiality concerns and the possibility Oracle was seeking discovery related to Rimini Street “for a purpose other than the present lawsuit,” according to court documents.
Ravin was deposed in May, according to Oracle’s motion. In the session, Ravin confirmed that Rimini Street was serving a number of former TomorrowNow customers, but “would not provide a single detail about how those customers are being supported”.
SAP has said that its TomorrowNow workers were authorized to download materials from Oracle’s site on behalf of TomorrowNow customers. SAP also admits that some “inappropriate downloads” had occurred. SAP has also said that Oracle’s software remained in TomorrowNow’s systems and has denied Oracle’s allegations of a wider pattern of wrongdoing.
Oracle’s Aug. 21 motion demands that Ravin be ordered to sit for two more hours of deposition; and provide” documents sufficient to show Rimini’s business model,” including whether it has ever “relied on copies of customers’ licensed software to provide software support”; information about any automated tools the company has used to download material from Oracle’s support site; and documents tied to Rimini’s preparation of tax updates for customers.
While acknowledging that third-party support is legal, Oracle claims that SAP and TomorrowNow provided discounted support through illegal acts, such as making thousands of unauthorized copies of Oracle’s software, and conducting “routine, massive and indiscriminate downloading” of support-related materials on behalf of customers who weren’t entitled to them, according to the motion to compel.
In a related note, the U.S. Department of Justice has approved the proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems and terminated the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Sun’s stockholders approved the transaction on July 16, 2009.
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