HP's allegations of data theft 'fiction', says Oracle exec

Posted by Emma Woollacott

HP's allegations that a former employee stole trade secrets are a pack of lies, according to the man's lawyer, who is asking for the case to be thrown out.

Adrian Jones, who left HP for Oracle in February, is accused of having downloaded company information onto an external hard drive immediately before his departure, and taking it with him to Oracle.

In fact, says Jones, he never had hold of the drive containing the data - it was HP's own, used by the company to do a back-up. What's more, he says, HP knew it all along - it was a 'knowingly false allegation', he says.

Oh well, says HP, if it wasn't that drive it must have been another one. "Regardless of the device, Adrian Jones said he had no confidential information," a spokesman told Bloomberg. "But he did, and he had returned it."

Jones was a senior VP in HP's enterprise hardware group, based in Tokyo. And the company says that, during his time there, he failed to disclose a relationship with a subordinate, doubled her pay and visited her in Australia on expenses. Those allegations still stand.

There's been a lot of bad blood between the two companies lately. Last year, HP booted out CEO Mark Hurd, saying he'd had an inappropriate relationship with a marketing contractor; Hurd later joined Oracle.

And in June, HP filed another lawsuit against Oracle, claiming it had breached its contract by halting software development for Intel's Itanium chip.