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Oracle's headquarters in Readwood Shores, CAOracle’s headquarters in Readwood Shores, CA (Jason Doiy / The Recorder)

SAN JOSE—Attorneys for Hewlett Packard have spent much of the past month in a $3 billion trial against Oracle Corp. rebutting the notion that a once-lucrative HP server technology already was on the way out before Oracle yanked its software support. But in closing remarks Wednesday, one of HP’s lead attorneys reinforced this message: That doesn’t actually matter.

“Even if it was true, it’s no excuse,” said Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Jeffrey Thomas, who has been HP’s man at the lectern for much of the prolonged trial. Thomas stressed to the jury that the decisive issue must be whether Oracle’s 2011 announcement that it would stop development for HP’s Itanium chip-based servers breached a contract from the year before.

“The contract doesn’t say Oracle can stop offering its software because it, Intel or anybody else said something about [the future of] Itanium,” Thomas told jurors in Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Peter Kirwan’s courtroom, speaking in an animated and sometimes conversational style. “This whole ‘end of life’ story is much ado about nothing when you focus on the question about whether they breached the contract.”

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