Judge orders Hewlett-Packard to turn over source code to state

NOVEMBER 17, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Kent County judge today ordered global information technology company Hewlett-Packard to turn over computer source code to the state of Michigan. The court recognized in its ruling that success on the state’s breach of contract claim “appeared inevitable,” and that the state was the rightful owner of the computer source code.

“We respect the ruling of the court, and its recognition that the state was wrongfully deprived of property it had fully paid for," Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said. "It’s a shame we had to take them to court to force them to honor their agreement and responsibilities.”

The state of Michigan terminated its contract with HP for cause in August, and subsequently sued HP in Kent County Circuit Court in September after the company failed to deliver on a $49 million contract. Michigan becomes the sixth state motor vehicle agency, along with those in California, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico and Vermont, that is no longer working with the company, according to media reports.

Today’s ruling addressed the state’s request for an injunction to force HP to provide computer source code that is necessary to ensure the state’s ability to maintain and manage its ExpressSOS website, which is used by millions of Michigan residents. The larger lawsuit brought by the state for breach of the contract continues to move through the court system.

For now, the state’s focus is on getting the knowledge and systems in place for a smooth transition away from HP. Based on the court’s decision, the state now can focus on implementing the requirements of the new road funding law and seek a qualified vendor to replace HP.

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