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

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.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

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.


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