Oracle Call's HP's Request To Seal Lawsuit Docs 'Publicity Stunt'

The ongoing lawsuit between Hewlett-Packard and Oracle over Oracle's decision to stop software development for the Itanium processor took a new twist Wednesday when Oracle asked a judge to reject HP's request to seal documents in the case and accused HP of abusing the judicial process.

Oracle on Wednesday filed a request with the Superior Court of California, for the County of Santa Clara, to ask the court to reject HP's requests to seal certain documents related to HP's current lawsuit against Oracle over Oracle's decision to end software development for HP's Itanium server line.

HP on June 16 filed its lawsuit against Oracle, accusing its former partner of breaching agreements related to Oracle's development of software for HP's Itanium-based server line.

The lawsuit stems from the March decision by Oracle to end development of its software for the Itanium processor. HP and its solution providers saw that move as a way to force HP customers to move to Oracle server platforms. However, Oracle said it was related to a decision by Intel to end development of the Itanium processor, a development which HP and Intel both denied.

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A copy of Oracle's request is available on Oracle's website.

Oracle, in its Wednesday filing, rejected HP's original lawsuit against it as a "publicity stunt in a broader campaign to lay the blame on Oracle for the disruption that will occur when HP's Itanium-based server business inevitably comes to an end."

Oracle said in its suit that Intel, which produces the Itanium processor, said in March the processor has a limited future. "Now HP is suing Oracle for the temerity to tell customers the truth. . . . Oracle is not going to pretend that Itanium has a future when it does not," Oracle wrote in the lawsuit.

Oracle alleged that HP has "aggressively sold to the press" allegations that Oracle and HP have a contract guaranteeing that Oracle will develop new versions of its software to run on HP's Itanium processor. However, Oracle alleged that no such contract exists, and that HP is referring to a "mere two-sentence Oracle made just nine months ago" in the context of a lawsuit HP filed against its former CEO, Mark Hurd.

That litigation was resolved, and in a press release Oracle called the "corporate hug" between the two, both companies said, "HP and Oracle Corp. today reaffirmed their long-term strategic partnership and the resolution of litigation regarding Mark V. Hurd's employment at Oracle ... The agreement also reaffirms HP and Oracle's commitment to delivering the best products and solutions to their more than 140,000 shared customers."

Oracle said HP has moved to seal the complaint that specifically discusses and quotes the final Hurd settlement agreement, a move that Oracle called "vintage McCarthysm" and "hypocritical."

"HP proclaims 'I have a contract' and then claims that confidentiality interests preclude it from showing anyone the alleged agreement. Yet the actual substance of the agreement has already been revealed," Oracle alleged.

Instead, Oracle said, the motion to seal is groundless because the settlement agreement is "by its explicit terms" not confidential.

Next: Oracle Alleged That It Had No Obligation To Port Software To Itanium Forever

Oracle on Wednesday also asked the Court to ensure that the litigation between it and HP take place in the open. "HP's deceptive representations about Itanium and Oracle can and will be revealed in this case as soon as the world sees what the agreement actually says and the parties can take discovery from the definitive source: Intel," Oracle wrote in its filing.

Oracle in its filing wrote that HP and Oracle have an Itanium porting agreement, although HP does not mention that agreement in its lawsuit against Oracle.

Under the terms of that agreement, which was written in 2006 and amended in 2007, HP paid Oracle millions of dollars to port some of Oracle's application software to HP-UX on Itanium platform, but did not specify that the Oracle database be ported, or that Oracle has to port that software for as long as HP wants, Oracle alleged.

Executives from Oracle and HP were not available to comment on this story.