HP wins round against Oracle

HP has won a dismissal of one of Oracle’s more bizarre claims in its case relating to the dumping of Intel’s Itanium.

The judge could not buy the allegation from Oracle that it was duped into settling a dispute over hiring HP’s former CEO, Mark Hurd,.

Oracle claimed that HP fraudulently hid that it was planning to hire Leo Apotheker as CEO and board chairman Ray Lane when it forged a settlement with Oracle over its hiring of Hurd.

HP knew that when it hired Apotheker and Lane they were “toxic” to any partnership with Oracle.

Also allegedly hidden from Oracle was that HP was secretly paying Intel $88 million a year to “artificially continue” the Itanium chip’s lifespan.

But judge James Kleinberg said HP’s alleged misrepresentations “did not prevent Oracle from participating in the negotiations” over the Hurd settlement “or deprive Oracle of the opportunity to negotiate.”

He also told both sides to go forth and multiply when they asked for documents in the case to be kept secret.

Oracle and HP argued the documents contained sensitive business information that might harm them or their customers.

The spat started when HP sued Oracle over its decision to no longer support database software on HP computer servers that use the Itanium chip.

Things turned ugly when Oracle hired Hurd as a co-president. Hurd had been HP’s CEO until he was seen being a bit of a sleaze with a former soft porn star on the company’s dime.

HP told Bloomberg  that the fraud claim dismissed by the court “was another attempt by Oracle to get out of the contract it entered into with HP, wherein it continued to offer its product suite on HP’s server platform.”

In an attempt to keep the spin up, Oracle focused on the judge’s refusal to seal HP documents as a victory. It claimed that the court “has rejected HP’s attempt to hide the truth about Itanium’s certain end of life from its customers, partners and own employees.”

Of course, the court also refused to let Oracle do the same thing, so we wonder if that is just a PR attempt to seize victory from the jaws of defeat.