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The decision by NetApp and Oracle to can a legal dispute that has been rumbling on for a decade comes just hot on the heels of the move by HP to sue over the appointment of its former CEO Mark Hurd.

The reason these things are mentioned is that over the years I have been covering the channel there has been one consistent winner. It should have been the reseller or even the customer but in many cases it was the legal profession.

Some of the biggest cases with Microsoft fighting the Department of Justice and some of the long rambling legal battles involving Apple must have kept certain legal practices in clover year after year.

You can imagine those that were advising NetApp and Oracle in the patent battle are now having to look for divorce cases and parking fine raps to plug a gap that's not existed for a decade in their daily lives.

But as the decision by HP to go legal after Oracle poached Hurd shows, the temptation to call the lawyers is still there in the IT world. Those legal folk that had served NetApp might be worried today but there will be something round the corner. Sadly if history has proved anything it is that the words 'see you in court' are four of the most popular in vendor boardrooms.

This was last published in September 2010



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