HP, Oracle Itanium face-off starts

Summary:After months of pre-trial spats, document release smear efforts and attempts to see the case dismissed, Oracle and HP have kicked off their dispute over Intel's Itanium chip in court.

After months of pre-trial spats, document release smear efforts and attempts to see the case dismissed, Oracle and HP have kicked off their dispute over Intel's Itanium chip in court.

The case has already been likened to a divorce case by the very judge presiding over the first phase of the case, with two companies fighting over the custody of Intel's heavy-duty chip.

HP brought a case against Oracle, after the database maker decided to end support for HP's Itanium-based servers. HP claims that this was a breach of contract after the server and PC maker agreed to support Itanium as part of a prior agreement. Naturally, Oracle countersued, claiming false advertising and failing to disclose the terms of HP's contract with Intel.

Though Intel is not directly involved, it's likely that the company's chief executive Paul Otellini will testify.

Since then, the two companies have resumed their public bickering, with Oracle first off the mark to release un-redacted documents seen only during litigation, and HP firing back on all cylinders.

Oracle asked its customers to "make your own decision", while HP released a cache of documents claiming that senior Oracle executives think that Sun hardware, which was acquired by Oracle, is a "pig in lipstick", among other things.

Oracle has moved from one courtroom to another, after it lost its case against Google just over a week ago.

A jury will not be present during the HP and Oracle case; instead, a judge will decide during the first phase whether a contract exists between HP and Oracle and its terms. If the judge rules in HP's favour, a jury will decide whether Oracle broke that contract.

Via ZDNet US

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Oracle

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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