Hewlett-Packard (HP) sued former Chief Executive Mark Hurd and asked a court to block him from joining Oracle Corp, saying his hiring puts HP’s trade secrets "in peril."
Oracle named Hurd co-president on Monday, a month after he resigned from HP over expense account irregularities related to a female contractor.
Hurd's separation agreement from HP included a two-year confidentiality pact.
In a civil complaint filed in Superior Court in Santa Clara County on Tuesday, HP said: "In his new positions, Hurd will be in a situation in which he cannot perform his duties for Oracle without necessarily disclosing HP's trade secrets and confidential information to others."
Intellectual property lawyers said HP will have a tough time convincing court. "I think HP has a real uphill battle here," said Cliff Palefsky of a San Francisco law firm. "The notion is that you cannot do your job without using trade secrets. Without specifics, it's just not likely to fly."
Oracle has called HP's lawsuit "vindictive".