The term ‘full costs’ in the Copyright Act means paying the full costs and nothing less, Oracle has argued in a response to a writ of certiorari filed by Rimini Street.
The global technology company filed its argument on Wednesday, August 1 at the US Supreme Court.
In 2010, Oracle sued Rimini for copyright infringement for downloading Oracle database support materials without a licence. Rimini is a provider of third-party support for Oracle’s enterprise software.
In January 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an earlier judgment that Rimini infringed 96 of Oracle’s copyright.
Oracle was awarded damages and costs, both taxable and non-taxable.
In its petition to the Supreme Court, Rimini asked whether the Copyright Act, which gives courts discretion to award prevailing parties their full costs, authorises recovery of the full range of litigation costs, or authorises recovery of only those costs that are taxable.
Oracle said in its opposition that the company had non-taxable costs in excess of $17 million “and that is why the district court exercised its discretion to award Oracle 75% of those costs”.
According to Oracle's filing, Rimini argued that the Copyright Act has held some idiosyncratic views on the term “full costs”, although Oracle said that the Ninth Circuit made it clear that “full costs” means “full costs”.
Oracle’s counsel said that the only result of granting certiorari would be forcing Oracle to spend even more resources on proving Rimini’s copyright infringement.
The counsel cited the Copyright Act’s text that a court “in its discretion may allow the recovery of full costs”. They said that the Ninth Circuit was correct to conclude that “this case begins and ends with the plain text of the statute: ‘full costs’”.
According to Oracle, Rimini also said that that the term “full costs” has historically been understood to mean something less than that. However, Oracle opposed this argument.
The company said that the Supreme Court should deny the petition for certiorari.