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Enterprise Insights HP Statement Regarding Civil Lawsuit Against Oracle
Mar 26, 2012 – Michael Thacker

Information brought to light by Oracle executives during discovery underscores Oracle's behavior as anticustomer

HP has issued the following statements in conjunction with HP’s filing today of two motions for summary adjudication and summary judgment in the company’s litigation against Oracle Corporation relating to the Intel Itanium platform:

“The information brought to light during the discovery period further underscores the key facts of this case. In fact, it has led HP to seek a pretrial ruling that Oracle is contractually obligated to offer future versions of Oracle’s software on Itanium. It is time for Oracle to quit pursuing baseless accusations and honor its commitments to HP and to our shared customers.”

In Oracle’s own words:

  • “HP is an important partner for us … clearly all of Oracle’s software is going to continue to run on HP gear, and we’re going to tune it and make it work.” – Larry Ellison, chief executive officer, Oracle
     
  • “Oracle remains committed to HP Alliance and ensuring Oracle software optimized on HP hardware and customer hardware platform.” – Safra Catz, president and chief financial officer, Oracle
     
  • The provision was “intended to reaffirm and continue the existing relationship” between HP and Oracle and to provide that the parties will “continue to work together as the companies have – with Oracle porting products to HP’s platform and HP supporting the ported products and the parties engaging in joint marketing opportunities – for the mutual benefit of customers.” – Dorian Daley, general counsel, Oracle, referring to rationale for the Reaffirmation Provision of the parties’ Agreement.

Additional points about HP’s and Intel’s commitment to Itanium:

  • There is committed support for Itanium that extends out toward the end of this decade. Statements that Itanium was at or near an end of life are false; the facts regarding the Itanium roadmap cannot be disputed.
     
  • As an Intel executive explained in a March 2011 letter to customers: “[W]e are committed to the continued development of the Itanium product family … We firmly believe that the Itanium platform provides a sound foundation for mission critical computing through the coming decade.” – Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager, Intel
  • The fact that HP and Intel have a contractual business relationship regarding Itanium development and supply is not a secret and in no way provides the basis for a false advertising claim.
     
  • In fact, the existence of an HP/Intel contract confirmed that there was (and is) a plan for uninterrupted production of multiple generations of Itanium microprocessors, supported by contract, further rendering Oracle’s arguments baseless.
     
  • Ellison testified that in making his decision to issue Oracle’s March 22 announcement that Itanium was “nearing the end of its life,” he relied on a conversation with Intel’s chief executive officer, Paul Otellini. But Ellison admitted under oath that Otellini did not say that Itanium was nearing the end of its life. And the Intel executive responsible for the Itanium business has now testified unequivocally that Oracle’s claim was not true.
  • Oracle contends in its cross-complaint against HP that HP engaged in deceptive conduct by failing to disclose the payment terms of its contract with Intel for the development of the Itanium microprocessor. Oracle’s claim is baseless as evidenced by the fact that Mark Hurd –the current president of Oracle and HP’s former chief executive officer who was responsible for “closing the deal” with Intel – disagrees with the claim. When asked whether it was “misleading for you not to tell customers that you were paying Intel to develop the Itanium microprocessor,” Hurd testified unequivocally, “No.”

About the two HP filings today:

  • HP’s first motion seeks summary adjudication and a declaration from the Court that Oracle has a contractual obligation to continue to offer its software product suite on HP’s Itanium-based server platforms in a manner consistent with the way those products were offered prior to Oracle’s hiring of Hurd in September 2010.
     
  • HP’s second motion seeks summary judgment and dismissal of Oracle’s cross-complaint and its claims against HP. Oracle has been given the opportunity to take extensive discovery on these claims, but Oracle has not unearthed any support for them. HP’s motion seeks to streamline this case for trial and focus the case on what it is really about – Oracle’s misconduct in breaching the parties’ agreement.


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