HP, Oracle ready for court face-off in Itanium dispute

HP, Oracle ready for court face-off in Itanium dispute

Summary: HP and Oracle finally see their day in court as the 'married couple' squabble over the custody of their Itanium child. Judge first, then jury after.

TOPICS: Oracle

After months of pretrial spats, document release smear attempts, and attempts to see the case dismissed, Oracle and HP will kick off their dispute over Intel's Itanium chip in court on Monday.

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 it was a breach of contract after the server and PC maker agreed support for Itanium as part of a prior agreement and sued. 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 the company's chief executive Paul Otellini could testify.

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

Oracle asked its customers to "make your own decision" while HP released a cache of documents claiming senior Oracle executives thought Sun hardware, which was acquired by Oracle, was 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.

Though, if Oracle's opening statement is anything like its against Google, we can expect a detailed 90-slide desk of nutshelled evidence. At least the PowerPoint deck included pretty graphics and simplified terminology. A fair B+ for effort, and a well-deserved A- for keeping the jury entertained.

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


Topic: Oracle

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  • HP, face it you killed Alpha instead of Itanium

    HP - Face it, you blew it over a decade ago by killing the far better and already established Alpha processor platform, inherited from Compaq/DEC takeover, and pursuing the foolhardy path of developing the new Itanium which has sucked ass from day one, and continues to do so.

    Despite Oracle's litigation challenges of late, you can't pin HP corporate stupiity on Oracle.
  • Leave the lawyers at home

    In the end, deals that go bad for one of the parties can never be enforced. Even if, back in the day, the Itanium looked like the future of computing and Oracle happily signed on to support it, we all know things didn't turn out that way and it's a good bet that today Oracle is spending more on the Itanium version than they will ever get back.

    HP seems to think that a court can do something about this. Or rather, HP's legal department has apparently convinced Meg Whitman and the Board that a judge can simply order Oracle to perform, and that will be that.

    Anybody who has been around software knows that there are a thousand ways that Oracle could comply with a court order to deliver Itanium versions of Oracle's DBMS while leaving HP with something HP would be ashamed to sell to their customers.

    This is one of those problems that is better solved with a few people from each company in a small room, armed with beer, pizza, and bags of money. Bringing lawyers to a party like this is a mistake.
    Robert Hahn
    • Lawyers are the only winner!

      Roberts article has it in a nutshell.. Lawyers will always 'try it on' because they need something to do to justify their existence.. but at the end of the day they are just a waste of time and money..
  • I see HP having to settle.

    In this case Oracle seems to have the cards due to HP ineptness. It's the story of HP in the 20th century. I have no idea if they will recover and become a major player.
    • Oracle isn't settling anything...

      They know they have HP in this lawsuit. HP has gone too far and attempted to pin the decade long Itanium debacle on Oracle.
  • Oracle sucks

    Nothing wrong with the itanium. You cant sell itaniums without software to support it. So Oracle needs to hold up to its contracts.

    A lot of super computers use itaniums. Although its stupid HP cut the alpha processor (hp makes many stupid decisions), but there is nothing that can be done about it. A lot of money was invested in Itanium, and by oracle suppressing software support for itanium, they are effectively killing itanium off.

    Things are different now that Oracle is just not a software company, so they have their motives. No one asked Oracle to buy SUN.