Oracle Ordered to Pay HP $3 Billion in Damages

The Oracle logo is seen on its campus in Redwood City, California June 15, 2015. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/File Photo)
The Oracle logo is seen on its campus in Redwood City, California June 15, 2015. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/File Photo)

A California jury has ordered Oracle to pay Hewlett-Packard Enterprise $3 billion in damages in a case over HP’s Itanium servers, an Oracle spokeswoman said Thursday.

Oracle said it would appeal the verdict.

The Itaniuum processor is made by Intel.

Oracle decided to stop developing software for use with HP’s Itanium-based servers in 2011, saying that Intel made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and was shifting its focus to its x86 microprocessor.

But HP said it had an agreement with Oracle that support for Itanium would continue, without which the equipment using the chip would become obsolete.

In the first phase of trial in 2012, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg ruled that there had been a contract. The jury on Thursday decided damages.

“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 an e-mailed statement, saying that Oracle’s decision to stop the software development “was a clear breach of contract.”

In a statement, Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said the company had been providing all its latest software for Itanium servers since Kleinberg’s decision.

“Now that both trials have concluded, we intend to appeal both today’s ruling and the prior ruling,” Daley said.

SOURCE: Reuters, Dan Levine