It’s been a long road getting here, but we may have finally found the end of the fabled lawsuit between Oracle and HP Enterprise over Intel‘s Itanium processor. The lawsuit was brought against Oracle by HP, which alleged that Oracle had broken a contract between the two companies when it ended database software support for Intel’s line of processors, which HP used for its high-end servers at the time.
You can hardly be blamed if you forgot that Oracle and HP were even embroiled in this lawsuit, as it first got underway back in 2011. Now it seems that we finally have a decision in the case, with a jury in California awarding HP a staggering $3 billion in damages. With that huge sum of money now on the table, it shouldn’t surprise you in the least to hear that Oracle plans to appeal the verdict, nor should it surprise anyone to hear that HP is quite pleased with the result.
Oracle, for its part, says that it pulled support for the Itanium processor because Intel had signaled they were in their end of life phase. HP countered that claim by saying that the two companies had a contract, and since it was using the processors in its servers, Oracle pulling its support for database software rendered those servers inoperable. The takeaway here is that regardless of Intel’s end of life designation (or suggestion), HP expected Oracle to continue to provide support for their servers per the contract between the two.
We’ll see where it goes from here, but there’s one thing that’s unquestionably sure: with a $3 billion judgement in favor of HP, you can bet that Oracle will fight that decision tooth and nail. We’ll keep track of the court battle as Oracle prepares to head into the appeals process and HP executives think about rolling around in piles of cash.