Oracle Loses Bid to End HP Itanium Lawsuit
An appeals court rejects Oracle's efforts to have a lower court's ruling overturned, setting the stage for the penalty phase of the trial.Oracle's attempt to end the lawsuit brought by Hewlett-Packard in the dispute over Intel's Itanium processor platform was shot down by a California appeals court, which rejected Oracle's request without comment. The decision by California's 6th District Court of Appeals Jan. 31 means that the penalty phase of the trial—where a jury will decide how much Oracle will have to pay HP in damages for announcing it would no longer support Itanium in future software releases—will go forward, and that Oracle will be able to appeal everything from the trial after that, according to Reuters. The case stems from a decision by Oracle executives that they would no longer develop software for Intel's Itanium chips, which power all of HP's high-end servers. Oracle officials said they had learned from Intel engineers that the giant chip maker was planning to end development of Itanium in favor of its more popular Xeon processors. The decision drew a sharp rebuke from executives for both Intel and HP, who argued there were no plans to end development. HP officials accused Oracle of trying to force the 140,000 or so users who run Oracle software—particularly database applications—on HP's high-end Integrity and other servers to migrate to Oracle's SPARC/Solaris systems.
They also said that Oracle's decision violated an agreement between the two companies that both would continue supporting the others' products that were used by these joint customers. Oracle officials said the documents referred to by HP—a settlement of a lawsuit stemming from Oracle's hiring in 2010 of ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd—did not amount to an airtight agreement.