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Oracle can't relieve Rimini Street's coffers of $12.8m in legal bills, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday. The database giant tried to recover non-taxable court costs from Rimini, which the Supremes have now, in a pivotal decision, said are off limits in a copyright case.
Big Red and the enterprise software support vendor have been locked in a years-long battle, which in 2018 shifted from Oracle's initial complaint of intellectual property theft to a matter of the legal definition of “full costs.”
Rimini - Side - Fight - Damages - Costs
Rimini lost the copyright side of the legal fight in 2015, and was ordered to pay some $124m in damages and the so-called "full costs" of Oracle's lawsuit. Rimini has since been trying to claw back as much of that payout as it can, and early last year successfully slashed its bill by $50m to $74m.
To further cut the amount of money owed, Rimini asked the Supreme Court to resolve a split between the lower courts on whether "full costs" means "all costs," seeing as only some types of legal costs can be paid by a losing party, and Oracle was seeking to recover every penny it spent on the legal battle.
Appeals - Court - Rimini - Oracle - Costs
An appeals court had ruled Rimini should pay Oracle some $12.8m in non-taxable costs as part of the overall "full costs" payout – however, other courts ruled "full costs" do not include non-taxable costs, and thus Oracle can't claim the $12.8m in non-taxable costs from Rimini.
The Supremes were thus asked to answer a question of interpretations of two statutory provisions: the general norm set by 28 U.S.C. § 1920 that even a winning party pays a substantial share of the costs; and Section 505 of the Copyright Act, which allows courts to award "full costs" to the winning party. Essentially, some rules stated Rimini, as a copyright...
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