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May 03, 2012, 05.12 AM IST | Source: Reuters

Settlement with HP isn't going to happen: Oracle

HP-ORACLE-HEARING:Settlement with HP isn't going to happen: Oracle

By Poornima Gupta and Dan Levine

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - An Oracle Corp attorney ruled out a settlement with Hewlett-Packard Co in a bitter lawsuit over the Itanium microprocessor, a day after the judge refused to resolve the case for either side before trial.

At a hearing in a San Jose, California court on Wednesday, Oracle attorney Dan Wall said a settlement of the lawsuit "isn't going to happen." According to an Oracle court filing last week, HP is seeking about $4 billion in lost profit damages, while Oracle argues that HP's claims are meritless.

"In this one, it is not going to work out," Wall said.

Oracle decided to discontinue support for Itanium last year, saying Intel Corp made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and that Intel was shifting its focus to its x86 microprocessor.

But HP argues the two companies agreed that support for Itanium would continue, and affirmed that commitment when they settled an earlier lawsuit over Oracle's hiring of former HP Chief Executive Mark Hurd. HP sued Oracle in California state court last year, calling Oracle's decision "anti-customer."

Oracle says HP's claims "cannot support" its damages estimate, and has countersued HP for false advertising, asserting that HP failed to disclose the terms of its contract with Intel.

Both sides attempted to convince Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg to hand them a win before trial, which is scheduled to start at the end of the month. But Kleinberg denied those motions in a tentative ruling on Tuesday.

In court on Wednesday, Kleinberg compared the case to a divorce.

"You have to give serious consideration to settlement," Kleinberg said.

HP's attorneys had not addressed the possibility of settlement at the court hearing, which is still ongoing on Wednesday. The judge called the case "extremely challenging," adding that he did not know how it would turn out.

The case in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara is Hewlett-Packard Company v. Oracle Corporation, No. 11-CV-203163.

(Reporting By Dan Levine; Editing by Richard Chang)

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