SAN FRANCISCO, March 26 (Reuters) - U.S. tech giants Hewlett Packard and Oracle on Monday both sought pretrial wins in their
bitter legal battle over whether Oracle can end support for
Itanium, a heavy-duty microprocessor.
Oracle decided to discontinue support last year, saying
Intel Corp made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of
its life and that Intel was shifting its focus to its x86
But HP argues that the companies agreed support for Itanium
would continue in an earlier settlement reached over Oracle's
hiring of former HP chief executive Mark Hurd, and has sued
Oracle in a California state court, calling Oracle's decision
Oracle has countersued, accusing HP of false advertising for
failing to disclose the terms of its contract with Intel.
Relations between HP and Oracle deteriorated rapidly when
Oracle quickly hired Hurd after he left HP in 2010 amid
questions about his relationship with a female contractor, with
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison publicly criticizing HP's handling of
HP later filed a trade secrets lawsuit against Hurd related
to the Oracle hire and although that was soon settled, the
firms' mutual acrimony only got worse when HP later hired
Ellison's arch-rival Leo Apotheker as CEO. Apotheker was
replaced by Meg Whitman last September.
Seeking judgment before the trial which is scheduled to
start May 31, HP argued on Monday at the time of the Hurd
settlement, Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley had said the
deal meant that the companies "would continue to work together"
as they had.
Oracle argued in its filing that Daley never intended the
Hurd agreement to be anything more than a symbolic statement, as
opposed to a legal commitment.
"We don't believe, nor do we think HP really believes, that
a settlement agreement relating to Mark Hurd's employment could
possibly obligate Oracle to write new software for a platform
that is clearly (at the) end of life," Oracle attorney Dan Wall
said in a statement.
A hearing on both companies' requests is scheduled for April
The case is Hewlett-Packard Company v. Oracle Corporation,
Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa
Clara, No. 11-CV-203163.
(Reporting by Dan Levine)
Follow us on Twitter: @ReutersLegal