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Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini St., Inc.

United States District Court for the District of Nevada

August 27, 2015, Decided; August 27, 2015, Filed




Before the court is defendants Rimini Street, Inc. ("Rimini") and Seth Ravin's ("Ravin") (collectively "defendants") motion in limine numbers 1-12. Doc. #652.1 Plaintiffs Oracle USA, Inc.; Oracle America, Inc.; and Oracle International Corporation (collectively "Oracle") filed an opposition to the motion. Doc. #695.

I. Facts and Procedural History

This action has an extensive [*4]  factual and procedural history. In brief, plaintiff Oracle develops, manufacturers, and licenses computer software. Oracle also provides support services to customers who license its software. Defendant Rimini is a company that provides similar software support services to customers licensing Oracle's software and competes directly with Oracle to provide these services. Defendant Ravin is the owner and CEO of defendant Rimini.

On January 25, 2010, Oracle filed a complaint for copyright infringement against defendants alleging that Rimini copied several of Oracle's copyright-protected software programs onto its own computer systems in order to provide software support services to customers. This action is currently set for trial in September 2015. Defendants filed the present motion in limine to allow the court to address certain evidentiary issues before trial. See Doc. #652.

II. Legal Standard

A motion in limine is used to preclude prejudicial or objectionable evidence before it is presented to the jury. Stephanie Hoit Lee & David N. Finley, Federal Motions in Limine § 1:1 (2012). The decision on a motion in limine is consigned to the district court's discretion - including the decision of [*5]  whether to rule before trial at all. See Hawthorne Partners v. AT&T Techs., Inc., 831 F. Supp. 1398, 1400 (N.D. Ill. 1993) (noting that a court may wait to resolve the evidentiary issues at trial, where the evidence can be viewed in its "proper context"). Motions in limine should not be used to resolve factual disputes or to weigh evidence, and evidence should not be excluded prior to trial unless "the evidence [is] inadmissible on all potential grounds." See, e.g., Ind. Ins. Co. v. Gen. Elec. Co., 326 F. Supp. 2d 844, 846 (N.D. Ohio 2004). Even then, rulings on these motions are not binding on the court, and the court may change such rulings in response to developments at trial. See Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 41, 105 S. Ct. 460, 83 L. Ed. 2d 443 (1984).

Generally, all relevant evidence is admissible. Fed. R. Evid. 402. Evidence is relevant if it has "any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence." Fed. R. Evid. 401. The determination of whether evidence is relevant to an action or issue is expansive and inclusive. See Sprint/United Mgmt. Co. v. Mendelsohn, 552 U.S. 379, 384-87, 128 S. Ct. 1140, 170 L. Ed. 2d 1 (2008). However, the court may exclude otherwise relevant evidence "if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice." Fed. R. Evid. 403. Further, evidence may be excluded when there is a significant danger that the jury might base its decision [*6]  on emotion, or when non-party events would distract reasonable jurors from the real issues in a case. See Tennison v. Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc., 244 F.3d 684, 690 (9th Cir. 2001); United States v. Layton, 767 F.2d 549, 556 (9th Cir. 1985).

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2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113772 *; 2015 WL 5089779

ORACLE USA, INC.; et al., Plaintiffs, v. RIMINI STREET, INC., a Nevada corporation; SETH RAVIN, an individual; Defendants.

Subsequent History: Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini St., Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117855 (D. Nev., Sept. 3, 2015)

Prior History: Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini St., Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113041 (D. Nev., Aug. 26, 2015)


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