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Update: HP Files Lawsuit; Oracle Fights Back...

Wed Sep 8, 2010 - 7:33 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Sunday's news about Mark Hurd joining Oracle was followed by a lawsuit filed by HP seeking to block Hurd from serving as an Oracle president because it would be "impossible" for Hurd to avoid using or disclosing HP’s trade secrets and confidential information" while in that role.

According to Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School who specializes in intellectual property, the theory that trade secrets will inevitably be disclosed "won't work in California as a reason to prevent someone from taking a job. Neither will California courts enforce a noncompete agreement. HP will have to show real evidence that Mark Hurd is about to use its secrets at Oracle."

On Wednesday, Oracle fought back with this statement:

"Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. "By filing this vindictive lawsuit against Oracle and Mark Hurd, the HP board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees. The HP Board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace."

In a related story Cathie Lesjak, HP's interim CEO said that the company had a bevy of qualified CEO candidates and noted that it will patch up its relationship with Oracle, which just hired Mark Hurd. Her remark were posted by ZDNet's Larry Dignan.


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