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HP Businesses Oracle The Courts

More Court Trouble For Oracle: Now HP Is Suing Them 116

New submitter another random user writes "Oracle violated its contract with Hewlett-Packard (HP) after it decided that future versions of its database software would not support a line of HP servers, HP's lawyer has said in court." The issue at hand: Oracle agreed to support Itanium, and has since pulled support. "... Hewlett-Packard estimates it should be awarded more than $4 billion in damages, based on an extrapolation to 2020 that accounts for projected losses, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because the court document containing the damages request is confidential." Oracle is using the Itanic defense: "In cross-examination today, Oracle attorney Dan Wall asked Livermore [HP board member] if she had heard Itanium called 'Itanic,' a reference to the 'Titanic' oceanliner sinking. 'I've heard lots of terms,' Livermore said. 'I understand the reference they are making and I don’t like it. It is not done by anyone I like or respect.'"
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More Court Trouble For Oracle: Now HP Is Suing Them

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  • Karma (Score:5, Insightful)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @01:32PM (#40234813)

    No, not the open source project "Karma" but "Karma" in the cosmic hippie sense.

    I hope HP takes them to the cleaners. And they aren't even being patent trolls, it genuinely sounds like Uncle Larry Douchebag screwed them over.

    Go HP!

    (Sorry HP, your products still suck... but your lawsuit is AWESOME!)

  • Re:Karma (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @01:42PM (#40234971)

    This 'serves them right' attitude on every one of these posts makes me believe most slashdot posters are petty. Not that I'm surprised....

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @01:51PM (#40235105)

    most contracts like this will have enough stipulations to make it fairly easy to pull out if things go south. i bet oracle put in all kinds of conditions like minimum sales numbers, etc

  • by GGardner ( 97375 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:19PM (#40235413)
    The company that killed WebOS and seriously considered selling off their whole PC business line is desperate to hang on to their Itanium business?
  • Re:Karma (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:24PM (#40235463)

    Habit 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less

  • Re:Scotsmans (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 19thNervousBreakdown ( 768619 ) <davec-slashdot AT lepertheory DOT net> on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:24PM (#40235471) Homepage

    Yeah, if you don't like or respect anyone who calls it Itanic, you're an idiot, at the very least for basing a lack of respect on something as trivial as calling something a silly name.

    But more than that, the name is apt. As a product, it's been nothing but trouble, and for what benefit? Forcing development of special compilers to support an architecture that does things a fraction better in an industry where computing power doubles on a semi-yearly basis while energy consumption remains flat or decreases, that's what. And for extra fun, it gets companies involved in lawsuits like this one, which benefits nobody but the lawyers. I won't try to argue that Itanium is a shit architecture or anything, I'm sure it's great when you don't have to deal with 20+ years of industry inertia, but I will say it's not even close to worth the trouble. Both HP and Oracle are going to lose money on this.

    I understand that you can't admit even a possibility that the other side may be right in a court case, but I hope the HP board member doesn't actually live by that quote, because if that's the case, HP is a company run by people who refuse to learn from experience. It may be necessary to resort to hindsight to see that Itanium is a stupid idea, but tossing out that experience just because you think it makes you look stupid to not have been prescient back when there wasn't a great way to make the decision is just a recipe for sticking most strongly to your poorest guesses. This expectation of infallibility is one of the most poisonous parts of the business environment.

  • by CodeHxr ( 2471822 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:28PM (#40235513)
    I don't think they're desperate to hang onto that business at all. It seems most likely that this is HP's way of making a failing business unit turn a hefty profit instead.

    I hope these huge corporations all sue each other into bankruptcy and allow a new generation of corporations rise from the ashes, much wiser from the lessons learned from the dinosaurs that made themselves extinct before them.
  • by gstrickler ( 920733 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:40PM (#40235663)

    According the the linked articles (haven't read the actual suit/complaint), HP is claiming that Oracle committed to continued support at part of the settlement of HPs suit over Oracle hiring former HP CEO Mark Hurd [wikipedia.org] who resigned in the midst of a scandal for which HP would have almost certainly fired him.

    There is no suggestion that HP paid Oracle any amount to develop or continue support of their software on HP's Itanium systems. So, if you cut through all the distractions and boil it down the the basics, HP is claiming the Oracle owes $500M to $4B for hiring Mark Hurd, the very same CEO HP would probably have fired.

    Livermore acknowledged under questioning that Intel demanded $488 million over five years to keep up production of Itanium in a waning market for the chip. She said that to her knowledge, Oracle was never told about the arrangement with Intel.

    Which helps explain why she "doesn't like" people who refer to it as Itanic.

    Wow, that's the second time this week I've backed Oracle's position in a lawsuit (the other is against Lodsys, not the Google case)

  • Re:Scotsmans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @03:23PM (#40236161) Homepage Journal

    Apparently the answer is 'yes'; but are you really allowed to pout like a spoiled child who just lost a little-league game when you are on the board of a multibillion dollar multinational corporation?

    Not just allowed, but encouraged. The sense of entitlement that oozes from the CEO/BOD class is palpable. They are spoiled whiny children playing with enormously powerful toys, and best understood and treated as such. Expect them to do and say the most thoughtless, self-centered, and occasionally reprehensible things possible with no understanding of the consequences of their words and actions, and you won't be disappointed.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.