HP has won its lawsuit against Oracle over the software company's decision to discontinue development of its products on Itanium.
Judge James Kleinberg ruled that Oracle is contractually obliged to continue developing software for HP's Itanium-based servers, according to the terms of a settlement agreement concluded between the two companies on 20 September 2010.
"The settlement and release agreement entered into by HP, Oracle and [former HP CEO] Hurd on September 20, 2010, requires Oracle to continue to offer its product suite on HP's Itanium-based server platforms and does not confer on Oracle the discretion to decide whether to do so or not," Kleinberg wrote.
The two companies will return to court on 22 August. HP is expected to demand damages of around $500m (£320m) from Oracle for breach of contract.
Oracle released a statement as soon as the decision was announced.
"Last March, Oracle made an engineering decision to stop future software development on the Itanium chip. We made the decision as we became convinced that Itanium was approaching its end of life and we explained our rationale to customers here: www.oracle.com/itanium," said Oracle spokesperson Deborah Hellinger.
She added: "Nothing in the Court's preliminary opinion changes that fact. We know that Oracle did not give up its fundamental right to make platform engineering decisions in the 27 words HP cites from the settlement of an unrelated employment agreement. HP's argument turns the concept of Silicon Valley ‘partnerships' upside down. We plan to appeal the Court's ruling, while fully litigating our cross-claims that HP misled both its partners and customers."
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