Oracle ordered to pay HP $4bn in Itanium server suit

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Oracle ordered to pay HP $4bn in Itanium server suit

Software giant pledges to appeal.

A California jury has ordered Oracle to pay Hewlett-Packard Enterprise US$3 billion (A$4 billion) in damages in a case over HP's Itanium servers.

Oracle said it would appeal the verdict.

The Itanium processor is made by Intel. The case hinges on Oracle's decision to end support for Itanium servers after forecasting they would be phased out.

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 argued it had a written agreement with Oracle that support for Itanium would continue, without which the equipment using the chip would become obsolete.

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

HP said that commitment was affirmed when it settled an earlier lawsuit over Oracle's hiring of ousted HP chief executive Mark Hurd. Oracle has argued that the agreement was merely the resolution of an employment dispute.

In the first phase of trial in 2012, Santa Clara superior court judge James Kleinberg ruled that there had been a contract. The jury today decided damages.

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.

Representatives for HP could not immediately be reached for comment.

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