It’s more bad news on the legal front for Oracle. HP has won its lawsuit against Oracle.A California judge has ruled that Oracle breached its contract when it decided to drop support for HP’s Itanium servers for future versions of Oracle’s database software. The judge told Oracle it must continue to make database products for Itanium “until such time as HP discontinues the sales of its Itanium-based servers.”
HP said in a statement:
“Today’s proposed ruling is a tremendous win for HP and its customers. The Superior Court of the State of California, Santa Clara County, has confirmed the existence of a contract between HP and Oracle that requires Oracle to port its software products to HP’s Itanium-based servers. We expect Oracle to comply with its contractual obligation as ordered by the Court.”
The next question is if HP will also be able to sue for damages. With the lawsuit came a full-on public relations campaign in which Oracle tried to convince Itanium customers that Itanium was not long for this world. HP is expected to sue for about $500 million in damages, we previously reported, blaming Oracle for slowing down sales of its high-end server business.
This fight started when Oracle hired ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd. HP sued. The two settled. As part of that settlement, Oracle promised that it would “continue to offer its product suite on HP platforms … in a manner consistent with [the Oracle-HP] partnership as it existed prior to Oracle’s hiring of Hurd.”
HP argued that meant that Oracle has to keep making new versions of its software run on HP’s servers. Oracle argued it only has to keep selling its existing software and supporting joint customers.
Oracle says that the company is preparing to appeal the ruling, issuing this statement:
“Last March, Oracle made an engineering decision to stop future software development on the Itanium chip. We made the decision as we became convinced that Itanium was approaching its end of life and we explained our rationale to customers here: www.oracle.com/itanium. Nothing in the Court’s preliminary opinion changes that fact. We know that Oracle did not give up its fundamental right to make platform engineering decisions in the 27 words HP cites from the settlement of an unrelated employment agreement. HP’s argument turns the concept of Silicon Valley ‘partnerships’ upside down. We plan to appeal the Court’s ruling while fully litigating our cross claims that HP misled both its partners and customers.”
Oracle is not having a good year with massive lawsuits. Earlier this year, it lost its suit against Google over Android.