Oracle brought claims, including copyright infringement claims, against Rimini Street, which provided third-party support for Oracle software and, in doing so, copied and distributed software updates without authorization. Oracle prevailed on its infringement claims in the district court, decisions that the Ninth Circuit affirmed. The Ninth Circuit also rejected Rimini Street’s argument that the district court erred when it awarded court costs under 17 USC §505 that were not considered taxable costs under 28 USC § 1920.
Rimini Street appealed to the Supreme Court, which granted cert on the question, “Whether the Copyright Act’s allowance of ‘full costs,’ 17 U.S.C. § 505, to a prevailing party is limited to taxable costs under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1920 and 1821, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th and 11th Circuits have held, or whether the act also authorizes non-taxable costs, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held.”
The Supreme Court reversed, holding that “full costs” means only the costs specified in the general costs statute, §§1821 and 1920.