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Apple's chief patent lawyer to leave company

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Apple's lead counsel with respect to patent law is expected to leave the company soon, and his replacement has already been lined up as numerous legal battles over patents continue.

Richard "Chip" Lutton Jr. is set to leave Apple, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an anonymous source. B.J. Watrous, former deputy general counsel at Hewlett Packard, has already filled the role as chief intellectual property counsel, as indicated on his LinkedIn account.

The report noted it's "unclear" why Lutton is leaving the company. Neither he nor Apple responded to request for comment.

"Lutton's voicemail was still set up at Apple on Monday, but he will be leaving Apple soon, perhaps in the next month, said the source familiar with the situation," the report said.

It also revealed that Apple has been on a "hiring spree" of late to bolster its intellectual property team. Litigation specialist Noreen Krall, formerly of Sun Microsystems, has reportedly joined Apple.

As chief patent counsel, Lutton has played an important role in Apple's many recent legal spats. Just last month, he wrote in one filing in the company's ongoing battle with Samsung that Apple is "one of the most secretive companies in the world" and that its announcements are "major events in the technology industry," drawing a distinction between Samsung's products and Apple's.

The battle between Samsung and Apple, in which Apple has accused Samsung of copying the look and feel of devices like the iPhone and iPad, is just one of a number of current patent-related disputes for the Cupertino, Calif., company. Two current high-profile cases involve HTC and Lodsys.



As a major corporation, Apple is also frequently the target of patent infringement suits. Some recent legal challenges seek compensation for inventions related to Wi-Fi antenna designs, downloading media applications, and the ability of the iPhone to search and receive ads, just to name a few.

Apple officials have acknowledged that defending the company from numerous legal threats is a time consuming and costly affair. It can prove to be even more expensive when Apple is ordered to pay out damages or has no choice but to sign licensing deals with competitors like Nokia.
post #2 of 17
Poor bastard must be exhausted.
post #3 of 17
Suffering from a severe ethics attack perhaps? Sorry. . .

Fortune has a possible reason for the changes here:
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/...atent-lawyers/
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Suffering from a severe ethics attack perhaps? Sorry. . .

Fortune has a possible reason for the changes here:
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/...atent-lawyers/

Doesn't really seem to be any connection between those two things, even the article doesn't imply they're related, just two different bit of legal news arising at around the same time.
post #5 of 17
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Doesn't really seem to be any connection between those two things, even the article doesn't imply they're related, just two different bit of legal news arising at around the same time.

I'm surprised you don't see the possible connection. It's a good chance that he was the one responsible for the choice in outside counsel.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #7 of 17
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Suffering from a severe ethics attack perhaps? Sorry. . .

Fortune has a possible reason for the changes here:
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/...atent-lawyers/

This is actually a separate issue and an incredibly low blow for Samsung. Asking lawyers be removed for possible conflict is practically the most insulting thing you can do in a court case. The lawyers are supposed to be professionals after all.

For the cause of the chief patent lawyer leaving I'm going to go with ... some kind of corruption that we just don't know about yet.

In my experience, lawyers personalities range from deceitful all the way through to sociopath. Most of the good ones have the morals of a Denebian slime worm. The most likely explanation is he got caught doing something wrong. Apple is a pretty white-bread type company.
post #9 of 17
Samsung has his kids in a secure location.
post #10 of 17
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post #11 of 17
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post #12 of 17
Ummmm. Ok.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

Poor bastard must be exhausted.

You are absolutely right! The man was probably stretched so thin, you can see the air in his body....I kid of course. This is just a strange coincidence with all the patent trolling happening as of late.

Go on take the money and run!
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoneaboveall View Post

You are absolutely right! The man was probably stretched so thin, you can see the air in his body....I kid of course. This is just a strange coincidence with all the patent trolling happening as of late.

Go on take the money and run!

Maybe he just got tired of dealing with Steve.
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #15 of 17
Not a good day for Apple.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is actually a separate issue and an incredibly low blow for Samsung. Asking lawyers be removed for possible conflict is practically the most insulting thing you can do in a court case. The lawyers are supposed to be professionals after all.

For the cause of the chief patent lawyer leaving I'm going to go with ... some kind of corruption that we just don't know about yet.

In my experience, lawyers personalities range from deceitful all the way through to sociopath. Most of the good ones have the morals of a Denebian slime worm. The most likely explanation is he got caught doing something wrong. Apple is a pretty white-bread type company.


If a jury personally knows or has prior knowledge about a defendents' personality and lifestyle, you think the courts will allow that jury to be on the stands? Apply this to the recent Casey Anthony trial. There is going to be bias no matter what the judge tells them about being objective. A crucial piece of information that can determine a win or loss for a law firm will not be overlooked.

The same concept applies to the lawyers themselves. Professional conduct and ethical standards are ideals that each professional SHOULD strive for. It is a goal, not a rule.

Conflict of interest is what got Google's former CEO out of the Apple board room. He didnt pull out of the board room immediately, he did it later on.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

Reply

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

If a jury personally knows or has prior knowledge about a defendents' personality and lifestyle, you think the courts will allow that jury to be on the stands? Apply this to the recent Casey Anthony trial. There is going to be bias no matter what the judge tells them about being objective. A crucial piece of information that can determine a win or loss for a law firm will not be overlooked.

The same concept applies to the lawyers themselves. Professional conduct and ethical standards are ideals that each professional SHOULD strive for. It is a goal, not a rule.

Conflict of interest is what got Google's former CEO out of the Apple board room. He didnt pull out of the board room immediately, he did it later on.

Interesting
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