Supreme Court won’t review HP’s $3 billion win in Oracle software case

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The company logo is displayed at Oracle Corporation headquarters in Redwood City, California February 2, 2010. Picture taken February 2, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCI TECH BUSINESS)

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  • Oracle owes $3 billion for breaking software support agreement
  • The High Court refused to hear the argument that the damages were based on freedom of expression

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a jury’s finding that Oracle Corp breached an agreement to continue supporting its software for Hewlett- Packard Co, leaving a $3 billion verdict for HP in place.

Oracle had argued in its petition to the High Court, this part of the award was based on an earlier statement by the company about the case which should have been protected by the US Constitution.

Oracle and its attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. HP attorney Theodore Boutrous of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said the company is happy with the decision.

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The verdict against Oracle stems from a 2010 settlement in a dispute over the company’s hiring of former HP CEO Mark Hurd. Oracle said in 2011 that it would stop supporting its Itanium software as servers became obsolete. But a California judge ruled in 2012 that the settlement required Oracle to continue supporting the software as it did before Hurd was hired.

A jury said in 2016 that Oracle owed $3 billion for breaking the settlement.

According to Oracle, HP’s damages expert based his $3 billion estimate in part on market uncertainty created by Oracle’s announcement to appeal the 2012 decision. Oracle told the High Court that the sentence breached his constitutional right to appeal, which “must extend to the public announcement of the intention to exercise that right”.

Oracle argued that the ruling would “create a severe chilling of First Amendment freedoms.”

A state appeals court rejected Oracle’s argument and upheld the verdict last year.

The case is Oracle Corp v. Hewlett-Packard Co, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 21-1057.

For Oracle: Gregory Garre of Latham & Watkins

For HP: Theodore Boutrous of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Read more:

Oracle loses bid to reverse HP’s $3 billion win

Oracle ordered to pay HP $3 billion in Itanium case

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