Comprehensive software licensing services from the team that litigated Mars v. Oracle.
Your software dispute is a hybrid of overlapping technological and legal considerations. We help you navigate both technical and legal services.
Your valuable legal rights can easily be lost in the early stages of a software dispute. We assist you in avoiding the pitfalls that trap many unwary licensees.
Your software dispute is being heavily influenced by your vendor’s internal and external considerations. We understand and use your vendor’s pressure points to help resolve your dispute.
Your software vendor likely operates with a discernible, yet closely guarded, licensing script. We have seen these scripts develop over the years and can use this experience to unravel your dispute.
We were the litigation team for confectioner Mars, Inc., when it sued software giant Oracle Corporation in the course of a license audit. Considered by most to be a watershed moment drawing back the curtain on Oracle’s deeply unpopular licensing tactics, to date, Mars v. Oracle remains the only public filing by a licensee challenging Oracle’s now-infamous auditing script. Since that game-changing filing, Art and Joel have represented scores of licensees—from small businesses to global enterprises—in their disputes with Oracle and other software vendors. Art and Joel have leveraged these years of managing recurring disputes to create a unique value proposition for our clients—our only goal is to leanly and efficiently protect our clients’ interests in an unwavering fashion while avoiding costly and wasteful litigation.
The best possible resolution of your company’s licensing dispute requires counsel that knows the software licensing landscape: where it has been, where it is today, and where it is going. By providing these hard-earned perspectives, Beeman & Muchmore can level the playing field for your business. Whether you retain our firm at audit “kick off,” to negotiate the terms of audit conclusion or to stabilize a dispute that has slipped out of control, our years of experience are invaluable to helping your company successfully navigate the unpredictable process.
For years, audit defense has been the cornerstone of our software licensing practice. We have represented scores of licensees in contentious audits with Oracle and other software vendors at every stage in the auditing process. Whether you retain us well in advance of an anticipated audit, right as your audit kicks off, or near the end to negotiate the terms of audit conclusion, our years of experience are invaluable to helping your company successfully navigate the process.
As an understanding of increasingly aggressive audits has spread throughout the market, Oracle and other vendors have begun deploying a new tactic – what we have dubbed the “soft audit.” Beginning as an innocuous sales call, the vendor inquiry stays under the radar and surreptitiously develops into a full-fledged dispute. Because counsel typically doesn’t get involved until late in the process, resolving soft audits can be especially tricky and requires sure-footed guidance in getting back on track.
We have helped scores of licensees untangle and reconcile decades’ worth of over-lapping license agreements in order to assist in software deployment analysis of any scale. We have extensive experience in many difficult issues, such as reconciling legacy agreements from acquired licensors and/or licensees, analyzing the impact of changes in IT infrastructure, moving workloads to the Cloud, decommissioning servers and terminating technical service streams.
Legacy software entitlements are both assets and potential liabilities. We are experienced in providing the licensing analysis that is an essential part of the necessary due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.
We have experience providing support for clients who have software licensing issues embedded in litigation matters.
Certain software vendors (Oracle in particular) are using the certification process at the conclusion of a ULA as an opportunity to conduct what are essentially stealth audits. We have assisted many licensees with safeguarding their rights during the certification process.
As businesses move their workloads onto third-party cloud hosting services, the resulting software licensing issues become increasingly complex. We provide counseling to navigate licensees through the move to the Cloud, as well as other cloud-specific advice (such as negotiating the return of stored data at the conclusion of a cloud contract).
Conversely, we have assisted cloud providers in finding creative ways in which to structure their cloud environments and/or agreements in order to best ensure their licensee clients are not in violation of their software license agreements.
Distilling our years of experience, we are prepared to give fixed price “best practices” presentations to guide your employees through audits, installations, vendor interactions, etc.
Software licensors are known for vague contracts—they’ve made a business of it.
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We provide the crucial context for your issue and leverage our experience to help you avoid a dispute.