News: A battle over software for the Itanium chip went HPE’s way.
Oracle may have to pay HPE $3 billion in damages after a jury ruled that Oracle had violated a key contract and damaged HPE’s business.
In a court case in Silicon Valley which began in May, HPE had sought the damages after Oracle stopped creating new versions of software including its database for systems running Intel’s Itanium chip.
This meant that when HPE released its servers using Itanium, which was an unsuccessful chip release by Intel, there was no Oracle support for them.
HPE said that this had violated an agreement between the two parties and was an intentional move to damage HPE as Oracle became a player in the server market.
"HP is gratified by the jury’s verdict, which affirms what HP has always known and the evidence overwhelmingly showed," John Schultz, executive vice president and general counsel of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said in a statement to Reuters, saying that the move by Oracle had been a "clear breach of contract."
In response, Oracle argued that Intel had stopped supporting Itanium, necessitating the move.
Oracle plans to appeal the decision, as well as an earlier decision that the contract had been breached. This means that the actual payment of the damages may be less than the full amount or held up for some time in legal wrangling.
Itanium was aimed at the enterprise server and high-performance computing (HPC) markets. According to Gartner Inc., the total number of Itanium servers sold by all vendors in 2007, was around 55,000, comparing to 417,000 RISC servers and 8.4 million x86 servers. According to IDC, between 2001 and 2007 a total of 184,000 Itanium-based systems were sold.
Oracle also recently lost a court case against Google when a jury found that Google’s use of Java in the Android operating system did not violate copyright law.