Eye on Oracle

Jan 6 2010   3:15PM GMT

Will developer suit against Oracle defuse Fusion?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

It looks like Oracle is heading into the New Year with not just one, but two, legal battles to fight.

In addition to its antitrust hearings with the European Commission – from which we have still not heard any definitive news – Oracle has now been slapped with a lawsuit by the Georgia-based MB Technologies, the developer of a toolkit called Bindows.

According to MB, Oracle is violating a license agreement and unlawfully using the toolkit, which allows users to create an interface for their Web applications that has the “exact look and feel of Windows,” to develop user interfaces for its upcoming Fusion applications suite.

Oracle entered into a license agreement with Hyperion in 2004, and when Oracle acquired Hyperion in 2007, the software giant stated that it would only use the Bindows technology for Hyperion products that existed at the time of the acquisition, according to this PC World article.

The article also states that in October 2007, Oracle sent MB a new draft of its licensing agreement addendum that included a section in which it said it would license Bindows for use in Fusion apps.  However, the two companies could not agree on a price and the section was removed.

Or so, MB thought. It recently learned from an Oracle executive that Oracle is using Bindows for EPM components in Fusion apps.  After attempts to agree on a price and reach out to Oracle were apparently unsuccessful, MB decided to sue for a variety of damages.

Will this affect the release of the Fusion applications suite, which debuted at Oracle OpenWorld and is set to be released in 2010? That remains to be seen, as Oracle has not provided comment or filed a response. One would think however, that with all Oracle has on its plate with the approval of the Sun acquisition still in play, the software giant would be quick to get this one out of the way.

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