A California jury awarded Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) $3 billion in damages from Oracle Corp. yesterday. The jury found that Oracle breached a contract between the two companies resulting in lost revenues for HPE?EU?s Itanium server line. The decision gave HPE the full amount in had sought in restitution from Oracle.
Jurors in state court in San Jose, California, arrived at the unanimous verdict after only five hours of deliberation, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Oracle, meanwhile, has said it plans to appeal the judgment.
The case stems from a 2011 decision by Oracle to end support for HP servers running the HP-UX operating system on Intel?EU?s Itanium chips, including support for the company?EU?s database and Linux distribution. The companies first went to court over the matter in 2012, at which time a judge determined that a contract had existed between them and ordered Oracle to resume support for the software.
Although Oracle had resumed support for the systems, HPE, which was spun out from its predecessor company Hewlett Packard, argued that the damage Oracle had done to the viability of its Itanium servers was irreversible. HPE argued in court that Oracle decided to cease support for the systems after moving into the server business itself following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
Oracle, for its part, argued that the Itanium chip was already near the end of its life cycle when it made the decision to end support for HPE?EU?s servers.
“Five years ago, Oracle made a software development announcement which accurately reflected the future of the Itanium microprocessor,” Dorian Daley, executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary at Oracle, said in a statement. “Two trials have now demonstrated clearly that the Itanium chip was nearing end of life, HP knew it, and was actively…