$3 Billion Trade Secrets Win For HP Upheld
June 21, 2021
A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal has upheld Hewett-Packard’s win in its case against Oracle. The issue was a settlement in 2010 that resolved a trade secrets suit brought by HP following Oracle’s hire of its former CEO Mark Hurd. HP contended that Oracle breached a provision of the deal that required it to continue to offer its software on HP platforms consistent with that partnership as it existed prior to Hurd’s hiring. A jury awarded HP over $3 billion in damages for breach in 2016. On appeal, Oracle argued that the relevant part of the agreement “merely restates the historically voluntary, non-contractual relationship between Oracle and HP.” The panel ruled that the agreement required Oracle to continue to offer its products on HP’s platform “as long as HP continued to sell the platform, as that practice existed before the Hurd dispute arose.” It also rejected Oracle’s argument that the jury award wrongly included lost profits based on an expert’s “speculative” opinion of HP’s potential loss of market share.
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