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Court rejects Oracle's bid for a quicker end to HP suit

Oracle signage is seen outside Mocsone Center during Oracle OpenWorld 2012 in San Francisco, California October 1, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Oracle signage is seen outside Mocsone Center during Oracle OpenWorld 2012 in San Francisco, California October 1, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California appeals court on Thursday rejected an attempt by Oracle Corp to quickly end a bitter lawsuit brought by Hewlett-Packard Corp over Oracle's decision in 2011 to end support for HP's Itanium based servers.

HP accused Oracle of violating a contract when it decided it would no longer make new versions of its database software, which was compatible with HP's high-end servers based on Intel Corp's Itanium chips. Oracle maintained it had no such contract with HP.

The servers tend to be used by large corporations with rigorous computing needs.

After a trial last year, a state judge in San Jose, California ruled that a contract existed between HP and Oracle, and that Oracle was required to continue to offer its product suite on HP's Itanium server platform. Oracle was required to port its products to HP's Itanium-based servers without charge to HP, the judge ruled.

Damages will be decided at a subsequent phase of trial.

In 2012, Oracle asked a California appeals court to reverse the contract ruling, which could have ended the case. However, California's 6th District Court of Appeal rejected the request late on Thursday, without further explanation.

Oracle must now wait until the trial is over to appeal all of the issues at once.

Representatives for both companies declined to comment.

The case in the 6th Appellate District is Oracle Corporation vs. Superior Court (Hewlett-Packard Company), number H038880.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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