Oracle has sued former partner CedarCrestone on grounds it has been providing third-party support for Oracle's software in an illegal fashion, a move that echoes previous actions Oracle took against former SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow and Rimini Street.
"For roughly seven years, Oracle valued its relationship with CedarCrestone and attempted to work with CedarCrestone for the benefit of mutual customers," states the suit, which was filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
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But Oracle has now learned that all the while, the systems integrator was stealing Oracle's software and using its status as a partner to get customers, it adds.
In 2005, CedarCrestone first signed an Oracle PartnerNetwork agreement in 2005, and maintained it until Oracle terminated the contract of Sept. 4, according to the suit.
CedarCrestone, of Alpharetta, Ga., didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. The company hadn't responded to Oracle's allegations in court filings as of Monday.
CedarCrestone has performed implementation services for Oracle's E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft applications, as well as Oracle Fusion Middleware. It also provided customers with tax and regulatory updates for their Oracle software systems, according to the suit.
But the company made false claims to prospective customers, saying that it developed the updates independently, "without using Oracle's competing updates 'as a starting point,'" according to the suit.
For example, in an Aug. 19, 2011 letter to Oracle, the company admitted that it had "delivered Oracle tax updates 'obtained by CedarCrestone''" to a customer, George Weston Bakeries, between November 2008 and August 2011, a period during which the bakery "had no right to receive such updates," according to the suit.
"In other words, CedarCrestone did not develop updates for George Weston Bakeries 'independently,' but instead 'obtained' Oracle's competing updates and sold copies of them to this customer," the suit adds.
CedarCrestone hasn't explained how it got the "Oracle-authored updates," according to a footnote in the suit.
CedarCrestone has downloaded "vast quantities of Oracle support materials," including the tax and regulatory updates, from Oracle's site with its partner login credentials, according to the suit.
In addition, CedarCrestone "has used unauthorized copies of entire Oracle software applications," it adds.
CedarCrestone has told prospective clients that they will receive a fresh update "shortly after their database is ready," according to Oracle's suit. But CedarCrestone "creates these updates using some existing customer's licensed Oracle software, which CedarCrestone apparently has copied ... and sells that service as an incentive to sign up."
This gives CedarCrestone "the ability to promise prospects a quick -- though infringing -- first deliverable," the suit adds.
In addition, CedarCrestone intentionally misled customers about the nature of its relationship with Oracle, according to the suit. For example, company representatives told officials in Oklahoma City that CedarCrestone's services are done "in a manner that is free of intellectual property infringement," it states.