The Sound of Silence: Celebrating the Two Year Anniversary of the Dismissal of Mars v. Oracle

Dave Welch (@OraVBCA), CTO and Chief Evangelist

Mars v. Oracle was dismissed at Mars’ initiative two years ago on December 16, 2015. What hasn’t changed in the two ensuing years:

  • Legal counsel has an obligation to inform you there is always the possibility that Oracle might file legal action against you for the assertion of your contractual rights when running Oracle on VMware. As risk management professionals, they are obligated to do so. However, it would appear that Oracle has yet to participate in a court hearing in any jurisdiction as a defendant, let alone as plaintiff, on the VMware “installed” issue.
  • Oracle has not changed or amended its template Processor “installed” contract language. House of Brick has been asked why Oracle doesn’t clarify the VMware issue right in the contract. My answer: would licensees who have already made potentially inappropriate payments to Oracle under existing terms be justified in demanding to know why such a change was necessary?


What has changed since Mars v. Oracle:

  • I announced the action to the world a full month after it was dismissed, and three months after it was filed. I imagine should there be another filing involving Oracle on the VMware “installed” issue, there would be no further need for House of Brick to announce it to the world. Even if they may not have been watching previously, or may have been looking in the wrong place, legal teams and trade rags are watching case law now.
  • As a layman (non-attorney), it seems to me that if anything about the Mars filing had come out remotely in Oracle’s favor, we surely would have seen Oracle use it to defend its absurd licensing claim in follow-on filings. Rather, Oracle’s silence in the courts is screaming more loudly with every passing month. I believe many licensees simply don’t understand the power of their position.


Join attorney Pam Fulmer of Fulmer Ware and me on January 25th at 11 AM CST for our “Oracle Audits” webcast. We’ll discuss efficiently exiting an audit while fully enjoying your contractual rights and will field your questions.

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