A new outbreak of hostility between former partners Oracle and HPE has seen Big Red fling a flaming sueball at Hewlett Packard spin-out over who has the rights to support the Solaris operating system.
The basis of the spat is that an HPE-backed a third company, TERiX Computer, has pitched itself as offering Solaris support but is not an authorised Oracle partner.
According to Oracle's complaint, TERiX's services “included the provision of software patches, updates, and bug fixes for Oracle’s proprietary Solaris operating system and related system firmware used on Oracle’s Sun-branded computers”.
TERiX did this without a technical support agreement from Oracle, the complaint states.
“HP falsely represented to customers that HP and Terix could lawfully provide Solaris Updates and other support services at a lower cost than Oracle, and then worked with Terix to improperly access and provide Oracle’s proprietary Solaris Updates to customers”, the complaint continues.
Moreover, Oracle reckons that HPE executives and its legal department were warned by Big Red staff that they were operating in violation of “Oracle's copyrights and technical support policies”, by installing Solaris updates provided by TERiX on HPE customer servers.
TERiX has already felt the weight of Oracle's wrath, in a case launched in 2013. Last year, a US District Court judge ordered the company to pay nearly US$58 million for providing unauthorised support to Solaris customers.
Oracle names Comcast as one customer that received the unauthorised support, but has obtained the court's permission to redact other customers in the list.
The two companies' most recent legal clash happened when the pre-split Hewlett Packard sued Oracle to force it to continue Itanium support. ®