Long-time partners HP and Oracle face off in court
Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) are set to clash in a California courtroom today, in the latest development in the slow death of a long-time partnership between two legendary enterprise IT giants.
HP sued Oracle, alleging that the latter violated the so-called Hurd agreement, a settlement the companies reached after Mark Hurd, fired as HP CEO in January 2010, went to work for Oracle shortly thereafter.
HP alleges Oracle's decision to drop support for servers using the Itanium chip developed by HP and Intel constitutes a breach of the agreement, according to a PC World story. HP seeks up to $4 billion in damages, Reuters reported.
The court case also likely will cast a light on other factors that led to the crumbling of relations between HP and Oracle, including Oracle's move to acquire Sun Microsystems, a HP competitor in the server hardware market.
Oracle countersued, alleging HP was deceptive about the market struggles of the Itanium chip. It also wants the Hurd Agreement dissolved, saying it was not intended to be a binding commitment covering Itanium.
The case is Hewlett-Packard Company v. Oracle Corporation, No. 11-CV-203163, Calif. Superior Ct. (Santa Clara County).