The race is on: Oracle's Apotheker subpoena vs. HP's earnings report

Summary:As the Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit over TomorrowNow chugs along there's an interesting race against the clock setting up. Oracle wants to subpoena Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker just as HP's earnings date nears.

As the Oracle vs. SAP lawsuit over TomorrowNow chugs along there's an interesting race against the clock setting up. Oracle wants to subpoena Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker just as HP's earnings date nears.

The Oracle vs. SAP suit was supposed to take roughly 20 days or so. Apotheker, who reportedly isn't close enough to Oakland to be subpoenaed by Oracle, will make his earnings call debut Nov. 22.

If I were to hazard a guess, Oracle lawyers have the date circled with a big red marker. John Paczkowski at AllThingsD on Friday quoted Oracle attorney David Boies saying that the company may rest its case without showing Apotheker's video deposition. The hope: Oracle will be able to subpoena Apotheker. Meanwhile , Boies hinted that it may be better if Oracle can't find Apotheker. Paczkowski quotes Boies:

Maybe we’ll just let the jury know that they’ve hidden him. I think it may be better for the jury to know that, here’s this guy who was at the center of all this [and we can't find him]."

HP maintains that Oracle is harassing Apotheker.

However, it's hard not to note HP's earnings date, which is roughly three days later than previous quarterly reports in 2010 and 2009. Is HP waiting for the Oracle vs. SAP trial to conclude before Apotheker starts speaking publicly? Who knows. There's a interesting race underway as the search for Apotheker continues.

Correction: HP's fourth quarter earnings announcement date is usually three to four days later than the first through third quarters. HP says that the fourth quarter announcement typically is the Monday before Thanksgiving. In that regard, HP isn't timing its report for the Oracle vs. SAP trial to conclude. However, Oracle's strategy---at least on the PR front---appears to revolve around playing the "where's Apotheker?" game right as HP reports its earnings.

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Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Banking, Oracle

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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