HP and Oracle set for court clash over Itanium

SAN FRANCISCO, Mon Jun 4, 2012 – Lawyers for Hewlett-Packard Co. and Oracle Corp. will face off in court on Monday for opening statements in a bitter lawsuit over Oracle’s decision to end support for HP’s Itanium-based servers.

The trial, in which HP seeks up to $4 billion in damages, comes just days after Oracle lost a separate high stakes case against Google over smartphone technology.

Top personalities from both Oracle and HP – such as Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison, President Mark Hurd and HP board member Ann Livermore – could take the stand.

Intel Corp. is not a party in the lawsuit, though its CEO Paul Otellini might also testify.

Oracle decided to stop developing software for use with Itanium last year, saying Intel made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and that Intel was shifting its focus to its x86 microprocessor.

But HP argues that Oracle and HP had agreed that support for Itanium would continue, without which the HP equipment using the chip would become obsolete.