Appeal court affirms $3 billion ruling for HP against Oracle

Appeal court affirms $3 billion ruling for HP against Oracle

Oracle breached a provision in the agreement requiring it to continue to offer its software on HP’s Itanium server platform.

The California Court of Appeal affirmed a 2016 verdict finding Oracle liable for $3 billion for violating agreements on settlement and software development with Hewlett-Packard Co.

The 2010 settlement resolved a trade secrets case brought by HP after its former CEO Mike Hurd was hired by Oracle.

Furthermore, Oracle breached a provision in the agreement requiring it to continue to offer its software on HP’s Itanium server platform.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co spokesperson Adam Bauer said they were “incredibly pleased” with the ruling.

Justice Allison Danner wrote for a three-judge panel, affirming a 2016 jury verdict.

HP sued Oracle in California state court in 2011 for its alleged refusal to continue offering its software months after the breach and trade secret settlement based on its hiring of Hurd.

A 2012 ruling favored HP, saying that Oracle under the agreement should continue offering the products until HP stopped selling Itanium-based servers.

A Santa Clara, California jury awarded HP over $3 billion in damages in 2016.

On appeal, Oracle argued that the agreement merely restates the voluntary, non-contractual relationship between the two firms.

But Danner and Justices Mary Greenwood and Franklin Elia said that based on the agreement's plain language, the parties' previous dealing, and the surrounding circumstances required Oracle to continue to offer its products as long as HP continued to sell the platform.

Danner also upheld the jury award that included lost profits based on an expert opinion on HP's potential market share loss.

Hewlett-Packard was represented by a Gibson Dunn & Crutcher team led by Theodore Boutros. The firm didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Margaret Grignon of the Grignon Law Firm and Sadik Huseny of Latham & Watkins represented Oracle.

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