Oracle really owes HPE $3bn after Supreme Court snub • The Register

The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Oracle’s appeal to overturn a ruling that ordered the IT giant to pay $3 billion in damages for breaching a decades-old contractual agreement.

In June 2011, before HPE had separated from HP, the company sued Oracle for refusing to add Itanium support to its database software. HP claimed Big Red violated a contractual agreement by not doing so, although Oracle claimed it specifically declined requests to support Intel’s Itanium processors at the time.

A lengthy legal battle ensued. Oracle was ordered by a jury to pay $3 billion in damages and has appealed the decision to the highest judges in America. The Supreme Court has now rejected his application.

This brouhaha basically boils down to an interpretation of an agreement Oracle and HP struck when Oracle hired former HP CEO, the late Mark Hurd. The agreement recognized that both companies have a “longstanding strategic relationship” and a “mutual desire to continue to support their mutual customers.” Oracle had said it would “continue to offer its suite of products on HP platforms,” ​​while HP promised to “continue to support Oracle products (including Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM) on its hardware.”

One might think that this is a commitment to deploy Oracle’s database suite on HP’s Intel Itanium-based systems.

However, Oracle claimed, among other things, that HP unfairly baited it into providing long-term support for the PC maker’s Itanium systems while secretly knowing that Intel was no longer sticking with its Itanium line of processors. When Oracle discovered that Itanic was doomed, it declared that it would no longer support the hardware. HP sued and won. The total damages awarded are a high price, and Oracle argued that the full amount was not fair.

Oracle argued it shouldn’t have to pay part of the penalties because it relied on comments that should have been protected by the First Amendment. “California courts have awarded $3 billion in damages in this case — one of the largest civil awards in California history — based in part on conduct protected by the First Amendment Petitions Clause,” it said [PDF] the Supreme Court.

The IT giant made the same arguments in its petitions to the lower courts, the appellate courts and the Supreme Court of California before being denied by the United States Supreme Court. The rejection by the US highest court leaves Oracle no room for maneuver and means that the lawsuit is finally decided: Oracle must pay HPE 3 billion US dollars.

“We are pleased with the court’s order,” said an HP spokesman The registry. A representative from Oracle declined to comment. ®

About Stephanie McGehee

Check Also

HNTB Corporation appoints Michelle Dippel as President of Western Region

Michelle Dippel, President of the HNTB Region West I very much look forward to what …