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Oracle: HP settlement is 'not going to happen'

Lawsuit over Itanium processor to hit trial on 29 May

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An Oracle attorney has said that the company won't be settling with HP in the lawsuit over the Itanium processor, after the judge denied both their motions to summarily hand over the win to them.

At a hearing in California yesterday, Dan Wall said a settlement "isn't going to happen", Reuters reported.

"In this one, it is not going to work out," he added.

The two companies have been scheduled to attend a mandatory settlement conference on 23 May, a last attempt to sort the lawsuit out before trial starts on 29 May.

Presiding Judge James Kleinberg said the case was like "the end of a marriage" between the two firms and urged them "to give serious consideration to settlement".

But neither side seem likely to back down. Both had applied to the court for summary adjudication, basically saying that their cases were so strong, victory should just be handed to them without trial.

However, Kleinberg denied both motions (PDF) in a tentative ruling on Tuesday, leaving the forced settlement talks as the last chance for the technology giants to avoid the impending trial.

HP and Oracle are locked in an acrimonious tussle over the demise of the Itanium processor from Intel. Oracle stopped making software for the Itanium last year, claiming that Intel had made it clear that the chips were on the way out and it would now be turning its attention to its x86 processors.

This really ticked HP off because its Integrity servers were running on Itanium and it alleges that Oracle had promised to keep up support for the chips.

HP slapped the suit on Oracle over the chips in June last year, then Oracle retaliated in December claiming fraud, defamation and all sorts over the notorious Hurd Agreement, reached after HP sued Oracle for hiring ex-CEO Mark Hurd. And things haven't been the same between the one-time partners since.

HP did not say anything about its willingness to settle at yesterday's court hearing, but did say they would be at the settlement conference later this month. ®

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