Eye on Oracle

Feb 23 2012   3:06PM GMT

Oracle continues attack on third-party support providers

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Oracle has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming that two third-party support providers violated Oracle’s intellectual property, with the case being similar to ongoing legal battles Oracle has with Rimini Street and SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow.

Oracle claims that Norcross, Ga.-based ServiceKey and Wilmington, Del.-based DLT Federal Business Systems Corporation (FBSC) downloaded Oracle support and technical documents so it could then turn around and provide them to its customers, a move Oracle says is illegal. Oracle claims companies duped by the two defendants included the U.S. Navy and the Federal Drug Administration.

The lawsuit also claims that several unnamed parties, called “Does 1-5″ in the complaint, used ServiceKey and DLT Oracle Support credentials to illegally download material.

Oracle is calling what the two companies did a “gray market conspiracy to sell support on Oracle hardware to customers with no active support contract with Oracle that would permit the customers to access or use Oracle’s support website,” according to the complaint.

“Neither the Defendants nor the customers that contracted with them directly had any right to access and/or download software patches or updates from Oracle, but Defendants falsely told their customers that Defendants could provide access and support,” the lawsuit reads.

The case is similar to lawsuits Oracle has filed against Rimini and TomorrowNow. Back in 2010 Oracle sued Rimini Street, claiming the company was using Oracle customers’ support logins to illegally download support materials and then provide third-party support to them. Rimini countersued Oracle, saying they were being anti-competitive. And a couple years prior to that, Oracle sued SAP over its subsidiary TomorrowNow, claiming the company engaged in copyright infringement and illegal downloads. Both cases are still in the courts.

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