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Oracle, HP face off in court over Itanium

Oracle turned its attention away from its Android patent fight with Google on Monday to battle Hewlett-Packard over Oracle's decision to stop making new versions of database software that works with HP's Itanium-based servers.

As reported by Reuters, the two sides were in court for opening statements, during which HP said Oracle's move violated the two companies' contract.

That contract, according to HP, was solidified in a settlement allowing former HP chief Mark Hurd to join Oracle as co-president. Oracle, however, said that settlement only pertained to the Hurd employment issue and was not a strategic business issue.

HP wants over £2.5 billion in damages.

The fight dates back to March 2011, when Oracle decided to pull the plug on development for Intel's 64-bit Itanium chip, leaving HP as the chip's chief partner. By June 2011, HP sued Oracle for breach of contract and the fight got ugly. Oracle fired back in a press release accusing HP of knowing of Intel's plans to scale back Itanium production months before Oracle did. Later, Oracle said the Itanium lawsuit was nothing but a "publicity stunt."

As Reuters noted, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg - not a jury - will decide the outcome of the case. Intel is not named, but CEO Paul Otellini might be called to testify.