Oracle-HP Lawsuits: Intel Declines To Provide Itanium Documents To Oracle

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Oracle's request for documents related to Intel's Itanium processor roadmap was denied by a judge who accepted Intel's arguments that such documents would give Oracle a competitive advantage in developing its own competing UltraSPARC processor line, according to a report by online news site Wired.

Wired on Friday reported that Intel wanted to avoid providing Oracle with thousands of confidential documents because Intel says that Dorian Daley, Oracle's general counsel, is also an advisor to Oracle on strategic business decisions.

Intel is concerned that Oracle and Daley would be able to use many of the requested documents, which include product roadmaps for its Itanium processor, for Oracle's competitive advantage in developing its UltraSPARC processors, Wired reported.

Intel in a December 8 court filing with the Santa Clara County, Calif. court in the Oracle-HP lawsuits argued that the sensitive documents in question should not be provided to Daley, Wired reported. Oracle a week later filed a response that such a request would make it difficult for Oracle to defend itself against HP. The judge on January 5 sided with Intel, Wired reported.

Intel's Itanium processor is an important part of a series of lawsuits between Oracle and HP stemming from Oracle's decision to suspend all software development on the Intel Itanium microprocessor, citing what it called indications from Intel management that it is focusing on the x86 processor line and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life

HP is virtually the only user of Intel's Itanium processor, which it uses in its Unix server line. HP transferred its Itanium chip designers to Intel in 2004 and invested capital in Intel to continue development of the processor. The two, along with other server OEMs including IBM and Dell, had worked to develop the processor since the mid-1990s, but the others dropped out over time.

HP in June filed suit against Oracle alleging breach of contract, libel, intentional interference to disrupt business relationships, and violations of business codes in relation to Oracle's decision. The two have since filed a series of suits and countersuits against each other related to that dispute.

Spokespersons from Oracle and Intel declined to respond to questions about the dispute over the Intel documents.

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