$4 billion HP, Oracle lawsuit headed to trial

Oracle lawyer says in court that a settlement “isn’t going to happen”

The claws are coming out in Oracle Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s legal tussle over the Itanium microprocessor. After a judge repeatedly declined to rule for either side before trial, Oracle lawyer Dan Wall said at a court hearing that a settlement “isn’t going to happen.”

The suit centers on Intel’s Itanium microprocessor, which HP uses in many of its products. Last year, Oracle announced that it would no longer develop software for use with Itanium, after Intel reportedly indicated that it would abandon development of the chip in favor of its x86 Xeon microprocessor. Intel later denied these claims.

In response, HP sued Oracle for $4 billion in damages. The suit alleges that the latter’s decision violated an agreement between the two companies to continue developing software for the Itanium chip, as many HP products would become unusable without the technology. Not to be outdone, Oracle countersued HP for hiding the terms of its contract with Intel.

Santa Clara County Judge James Kleinberg denied repeated requests by both companies to dismiss key evidence in the case, instead urging them to consider a settlement. The trial is scheduled to begin May 31. A mandatory settlement conference also is set for later this month.

Oracle, meanwhile, is embroiled in a courtroom battle with Google over the latter’s use of Oracle’s Java programming language in its Android products.

Alanna Byrne

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