The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Oracle Corp. demanded on Thursday last week that Hewlett-Packard Co. drop its lawsuit against a former executive who joined Oracle after it became clear that copies of sensitive data H-P alleged the executive made onto an external hard drive were in fact made by H-P.
H-P's lawsuit against the executive, Adrian Jones, who is now a senior vice president at Oracle, was "based on a knowingly false allegation," according to Oracle's demand letter, a copy of which was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. "HP has no evidence to support its case against Mr. Jones and, frankly, it never did."
Mr. Jones resigned from H-P in February and joined Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., in March. In April, H-P sued Mr. Jones, charging that days before he left the company he copied "hundred of files and thousands of emails" containing H-P trade secrets onto an external hard drive. In its lawsuit, H-P asked for an injunction preventing Mr. Jones from going to work at Oracle and for Mr. Jones to return the hard drive, among other remedies.
H-P now concedes that Mr. Jones didn't back up his computer with the Western Digital hard drive in February. Instead, that device was connected to the computer and the files copied in December by H-P, which was investigating Mr. Jones for ethics violations.
In a letter to Oracle's lawyer, H-P's lawyer said the serial number of the hard drive "matches the hard drive used by HP to create an image of Jones' HP-issued laptop on or about December, 21, 2010." H-P's forensic investigator said in an email turned over in discovery that he was no longer claiming that a backup occurred and that it was "a dead issue."
We predict that H-P will amend its complaint sometime soon to drop the references and claims related to alleged data theft. Apology? We don't predict that will happen voluntarily.