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Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle International Corp.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 4, 2019

RIMINI STREET, INC., Plaintiff/Counterdefendant,
v.
ORACLE INTERNATIONAL CORP., and ORACLE AMERICA, INC., Defendants/Counterclaimants.

          ORDER

          LARRY R. HICKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court are numerous motions filed by both plaintiff/counterdefendant Rimini Street, Inc., (“Rimini”) and defendants/counterclaimants Oracle International Corp. and Oracle America, Inc. (collectively “Oracle”). This order will resolve all the non-summary judgment related motions pending before the undersigned.

         I. Motions to Seal

          There are currently 26 motions to seal pending before the undersigned. Oracle has filed 11 motions to seal (ECF Nos. 873, 885, 903, 928, 1023, 1080, 1133, 1140, 1141, 1148, 1178), and Rimini has filed 15 motions to seal (ECF Nos. 912, 926, 957, 973, 984, 1003, 1034, 1082, 1154, 1163, 1186, 1194, 1214, 1219). The parties seek to seal numerous exhibits attached to substantive filings and the portions of their summary judgment briefs that refer to those exhibits.

         There is a general presumption that court records should be open and accessible to the public. Hagestad v. Tragesser, 49 F.3d 1430, 1434 (9th Cir. 1995). With non-dispositive motions, this presumption is automatically overcome by a showing that the material to be filed under seal is being done so pursuant to a valid protective order. Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. General Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1213 (9th Cir. 2002)). In Foltz, however, the Ninth Circuit held that when parties seek to seal documents related to dispositive motions, the presumption is not automatically overcome, and the Court must balance the equities to determine whether the documents should be sealed. Id. at 1136. For exhibits to dispositive motions, the Court must weigh the “public interest in understanding the judicial process” with “whether disclosure of the material could result in improper use of the material for scandalous or libelous purposes or infringement upon trade secrets.” Hagestad, 49 F.3d at 1434 (citing EEOC v. Erection Co., Inc., 900 F.2d 168, 170 (9th Cir. 1990)). The party seeking to have the information sealed must articulate “compelling reasons” as to why the Court should seal the documents. Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 2006).

         The Court has reviewed the motions to seal and the underlying documents, and it finds that the exhibits and portions of the summary judgment briefs addressing them should be sealed. The information Oracle seeks to seal mostly consists of confidential financial and pricing information, business and internal development strategies, and information regarding its individually-negotiated customer licenses. Many of the exhibits it seeks to seal identify customers by name and detail Oracle's business relationship with them, including the terms of the specific software license agreement between Oracle and the customer. The information Rimini seeks to seal is largely the same, consisting mostly of information detailing its relationships with its customers. The public does not have a strong interest in learning about the specific agreements between the parties and their customers because it is largely not relevant to this case; at issue here is whether Rimini has infringed on Oracle's copyrights. Revealing this customer information would likely harm both Oracle and Rimini's competitive standing by allowing competitors and customers a glimpse into their negotiation strategies, which is a compelling reason to keep it under seal. Center for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1097 (9th Cir. 2016). Additionally, the third parties not involved in this litigation would be placed at a competitive disadvantage (for the same reason) if information regarding their confidential business dealings was made public. See Music Group Macao Commercial Offshore Limited v. Foote, 2015 WL 3993147, at *2 (N.D. Cal. June 30, 2015) (invasion of a third party's privacy interest is a “compelling reason” for filing a document under seal). The Court also notes that the parties have filed redacted versions of all the sealed motions in the public record, which limits the harm done to the public.

         The Court will accordingly grant all the motions to seal.

         II. Oracle's 17 U.S.C. §410(c) Motion

         Oracle's first substantive motion requests that the Court exercise its discretion and apply an evidentiary presumption of validity to over three dozen of the copyrights at issue in this case. (ECF No. 867 at 6). 17 U.S.C. §410(c) allows the Court to deem certain certificates of copyright registration as “prima facie evidence” of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate. Oracle seeks to have the Court deem 39 of the 136 copyrights at issue in this case prima facie evidence that it was the lawful holder of those copyrights; the other 97 copyrights at issue are already entitled to an assumption of validity because they were registered within five years of their first publication. 17 U.S.C. §410(c). Oracle also seeks to prevent Rimini from challenging the validity of 17 of the 39 copyrights not afforded the automatic presumption because in previous litigation in this Court, a jury, inter alia, found that Rimini had infringed those 17 copyrights. (ECF No. 867 at 7). Rimini filed a motion of non-opposition to Oracle's motion, but it noted that it wished to reserve the right to overcome the prima facie presumption of copyright validity at trial. (ECF No. 961 at 2).

         The Court will grant Oracle's motion. Local Rule 7-2(d) states that a failure of any party to contest a motion constitutes consent to the granting of the motion. Because Rimini explicitly did not oppose Oracle's motion and instead reserved argument for trial, the Court will apply the §410(c) presumption of validity to the following 22 copyrights: (1) TX 7-095-798; (2) TX 8-151-290; (3) TX 6-541-029; (4) TX 6-541-047; (5) TX 8-060-246; (6) TX 8-060-225; (7) TX 8-060-232; (8) TX 8-060-249; (9) TX 8-060-264; (10) TX 8-060-259; (11) TX 8-060-258; (12) TX 8-060-255; (13) TX 8-108-902; (14) TX 8-108-914; (15) TX 8-108-944; (16) TX 8-108-891; (17) TX 8-108-968; (18) TX 8-108-961; (19) TX 8-108-850; (20) TX 8-108-924; (21) TX 7-781-659; (22) 7-781-641.

         The Court also finds that issue preclusion prevents Rimini from relitigating whether Oracle is the valid copyright holder of the other 17 copyrights at issue. Those are: (1) TX 7-065-376; (2) TX 7-065-381; (3) TX 7-063-688; (4) TX 7-065-319; (5) TX 7-063-683; (6) TX 7-063-668; (7) TX 7-077-447; (8) TX 7-077-451; (9) TX 7-092-406; (10) TX 7-092-603; (11) TX 7-092-583; (12) TX 7-092-617; (14) TX 6-541-033; (15) TX 6-941-989; (16) TX 6-941-988; (17) TX 6-941-990). The doctrine of issue preclusion prevents a party from relitigating an issue already decided in a previous action if: (1) there was a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue in the previous action; (2) the issue was actually litigated in that action; (3) the issue was lost as a result of a final judgment in that action; and (4) the party against whom issue preclusion is asserted was present in the previous action. U.S. Internal Revenue Serv. v. Palmer, 207 F.3d 566, 568 (9th Cir. 2000). All of these elements are clearly met here. Oracle and Rimini were both present in their current forms in the previous lawsuit, [1] and Rimini had an opportunity to litigate the issue of Oracle's ownership of the copyrights and did so through summary judgment briefing before agreeing not to contest the issue prior to trial. (See Oracle I, ECF No. 401 at 2-3). There was also a final judgment in the action when the jury found Rimini liable for copyright infringement, and the Ninth Circuit upheld the jury's findings on appeal. (Oracle I, ECF No. 896); Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini Street, Inc., 879 F.3d 948 (9th Cir. 2018), rev'd on other grounds, 139 S.Ct. 873 (2019). Thus, the doctrine of issue preclusion applies, and Rimini cannot contest the validity of the 17 copyrights listed above at trial.

         III. Rimini's Motion to Strike

         Rimini has also filed a motion to strike two exhibits attached to two of Oracle's responses to its (Rimini's) motions for summary judgment. (ECF No. 1151). Rimini seeks to strike Exhibit B (ECF No. 1055-2) to Oracle's response to Rimini's motion for partial summary judgment as to “Certain Undisputed Process” and Exhibit 35 (ECF No. 1000-2) to Oracle's response to Rimini's motion for partial summary judgment on Oracle's already adjudicated claims. (ECF No. 1151 at 3). Rimini states that both Exhibit B and Exhibit 35 exceed Local Rule 7-3's requirement that responses to motions for summary judgment be no more than 30 pages in length, including statements of fact; Exhibit B is 55 pages in length (for a total of 85 pages), and Exhibit 35 is 2 pages in length (for a total of 32 pages). Rimini argues that it is prejudiced by the additional statements of fact because they “effectively give Oracle an additional 57 pages to respond to Rimini's motions, ” whereas Rimini limited to what was allowed by the Local Rules. (ECF No. 1151 at 5). In response, Oracle argues that it did not violate any of the Local Rules because “[t]he inclusions of Exhibit B and Exhibit 35 to describe additional disputes of fact to further clarify the record and assist the Court does not violate the letter or spirit of the rule.” (ECF No. 1182 at 4) (emphasis in original).

         The Court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). As Oracle notes in its response, motions to strike are generally disfavored by the Court. D.E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios, LLC v. Archon Corp., 570 F.Supp.2d 1262, 1271 (D. Nev. 2008). Whether to grant a motion to strike lies within the sound discretion of the District Court. Whittlestone, Inc. v. Handi-Craft Co., 618 F.3d 970, 973 (9th Cir. 2010). Courts “often require a showing of prejudice by the moving party” before granting a motion to strike. Roadhouse v. Las ...


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