Enterprise software giant Oracle Corp may end up paying billions of dollars in damages after a California judge yesterday ruled against it in a breach of software development contract lawsuit bought on by arch rival Hewlett-Packard (HP).
The amount of damages to be paid will be decided by the jury.
HP is reportedly seeking up to $4 billion from Oracle after the Redwood City, California-based company run by Larry Ellison decided more than a year ago to stop future software development on the Itanium chip.
HP has claimed that both companies had signed a contract in September 2010, which required Oracle to develop software on a long-term basis for HP's high-end servers based on the Intel's 64-bit Itanium chip.
In March Oracle decided to discontinue software development on the Itanium chip, and alleged that Intel also had plans to discontinue its Itanium product line, which HP knew months before Oracle.
The decision by Oracle came as a big blow to HP, since Oracle's database software ported on HP's highest-priced Itanium chip computer systems is widely used by a large number of its customers including big companies and governments.