updated 06:49 pm EDT, Wed August 1, 2012
Oracle now required to port previously-agreed software for HP
Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg has ruled on the HP versus Oracle legal battle regarding Oracle's decision to cease support for HP's Itanium servers. Kleinberg ruled that a contract exists between HP and Oracle, and Oracle is required to continue to offer its agreed-upon products on the Itanium server platform. Oracle plans on appealing the decision.
Oracle said in a statement that its decision to discontinue support came "as we became convinced that Itanium was approaching its end of life and we explained our rationale to customers," and emphasized that it believed nothing in the court's opinion changes its business rationale.
HP is seeking $4 billion in damages caused by Oracle's decision, and says the ruling is a "tremendous win." The computer manufacturer expects Oracle to comply with the court ruling immediately. Oracle is required by the ruling to port the promised products to the Itanium platform without additional charge to HP.
"The parties had a long history of trust and collaboration, the promises made by the Oracle executives were clear and unambiguous, and the parties' relationship was very profitable for both companies." the judge wrote in the preliminary ruling.
Judge Kleinberg previously compared the case between the two Fortune 500 companies to a divorce. The dispute commenced last June, when HP sued Oracle over the latter's decision to drop support for Itanium without consulting HP on the decision. HP claimed Oracle broke “legally binding commitments” to support servers based on the Intel 64-bit based hardware, and that Oracle engaged in anti-competitive strategies to force HP customers to their own systems.
HP v. Oracle: Proposed Statement of Decision