Still More Fighting Between HP and Oracle

Lora Bentley
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Customers Weigh In on Oracle Itanium Controversy

It's pretty clear that many IT organizations are dubious of Oracle's motives.

Boy, things between HP and Oracle have gotten nasty. How long ago was it that HP's board pushed out Mark Hurd? He then took a job at Oracle, resulting in a knock-down, drag-out lawsuit over whether Hurd would make use of his knowledge of HP's trade secrets in his role at Oracle.


Then, of course, HP's board tapped former SAP exec Leo Apotheker to replace Hurd just as Oracle was suing SAP over intellectual property theft that occurred on Apotheker's watch at an SAP subsidiary. Oracle was intent on calling Apotheker to testify in the case, but it was rumored that HP sent the man into hiding. Effectively, the board said, "Sure, you can subpoena him. You just have to find him first." Talk about a soap opera ...


HP eventually settled with Mark Hurd, and last November, a jury decided SAP owed Oracle a record $1.3 billion in damages.


In April, HP sued Oracle again, alleging that another former HP exec took confidential company information with him when he took a job at Oracle. Specifically, HP alleged Adrian Jones copied sensitive information onto an external hard drive. The company wanted Jones to return the drive or not be permitted to start work at Oracle.


According to The Wall Street Journal, Jones turned over his smartphone and USB drives for examination after the suit was filed but did not have the hard drive at issue. Eventually investigators discovered that HP, not Jones, had copied files onto the hard drive in question months before Jones left the company. This week, Oracle is demanding the lawsuit be dropped.


And that doesn't even begin to touch the former partners' looming war over Itanium support. I'd hate to be the customers caught in the middle of that one.

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