1. HP Vs. Oracle Over Itanium
Yes, there were lawsuits in 2011 with bigger stakes, both in the amount of money involved or the potential legal ramifications. But when it came to pure vitriol, it didn't get any uglier than the legal battle between Oracle and HP over the future of Itanium.
Oracle announced in March that it was halting software development for Intel's aging Itanium processor. Trouble is, the only hardware vendor still building Itanium-based servers is Hewlett-Packard. So Oracle's announcement produced howls of indignation from HP execs, followed by a breach of contract suit against Oracle which argued that it is contractually committed to supporting Itanium -- a claim Oracle denied in a countersuit charging HP with fraud and defamation. The legal back-and-forth dragged on all year with no resolution in sight. In November Oracle charged in a court filing that HP had been "secretly" paying Intel to keep producing the Itanium line of processors "so that HP can maintain the appearance that a dead microprocessor is still alive. The whole thing is a remake of 'Weekend at Bernie's.'"