Apple's Patent Portfolio Manager Exiting as HTC and Samsung Disputes Simmer

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While Apple finds itself embroiled in a number of intellectual property disputes both on both offensive and defensive fronts, Reuters reports that Chip Lutton, who oversees the company's significant patent portfolio, will be leaving the company. Lutton is apparently being replaced by HP lawyer BJ Watrous.
It was unclear why Richard "Chip" Lutton Junior, who manages the iPhone maker's patent portfolio, is leaving the company.

However, BJ Watrous, a former deputy general counsel with Hewlett Packard, is now listed as Apple's chief IP counsel on Watrous's LinkedIn web page.
Two of Apple's highest-profile patent disputes involve HTC and Samsung, major players in the smartphone market who primarily rely on Google's Android operating system. Apple and HTC have been embroiled in a dispute dating back well over a year, but several developments over the past week indicate that the situation is heating up. Last week, HTC agreed to acquire S3 Graphics, a firm which just days earlier had won a preliminary patent judgment against Apple, potentially giving HTC more ammunition in its fight against Apple.




And just two days after that, Apple filed a new complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking to blocking imports of HTC's Flyer tablets and Droid smartphones over alleged patent infringement. As noted by AFP, HTC has denied the allegations and expressed its displeasure that Apple has chosen to compete in the courts rather than letting things play out in the market.
"HTC is disappointed at Apple's constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market," said HTC general counsel Grace Lei in a statement.

"HTC strongly denies all infringement claims raised by Apple in the past and present and reiterates our determination and commitment to protect our intellectual property rights," she said.
The situation with Samsung continues to escalate as well, with the two sides filing opposing complaints with the ITC over the past couple of weeks seeking to have imports of each others' mobile products blocked. Samsung has also asked that at least some of Apple's lawyers be removed from the case due to potential conflicts of interest and confidentiality concerns given that a number of Apple's lawyers had previously represented Samsung.

The dispute between Apple and Samsung, one of Apple's major suppliers in addition to being a significant competitor, holds major implications for both companies, with Apple reportedly considering a shakeup of its suppliers in order to reduce its reliance on Samsung.

Article Link: Apple's Patent Portfolio Manager Exiting as HTC and Samsung Disputes Simmer
 

cyberthom

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2010
22
0
HTC is disappointed at Apple's constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market," said HTC general counsel Grace Lei in a statement.
hehe - as if any of them 'play fair'
 

AppleFan1984

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2010
298
0
I wonder if Chip was burnt out? or thrown out?
I'd wager the latter. Failing to check out the new consulting attorneys for possible conflict of interest could cost Apple their most important case against their biggest competitor. Understandable since he's so overworked, but costly just the same.
 

Thunderhawks

Suspended
Feb 17, 2009
4,057
2,118
Yawn.............

let us know when it's all settled. All about money anyway.

Statement:

"Both sides agreed that in the interest of good business and partnerships to settle the case(s) for an undisclosed sum without admitting any wrong doing by either party"

And they lived happily ever after!
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Let the games begin! May the best lawyer win!

Really... should be interesting to see what happens in the long run, this has to all get shaken out. This is a hot area and lots of patents out there to be protected. It has to get sorted out sooner or later.

The saddest part isn't that people are protecting their IP... it's sadder that the general rule seems to be to ignore the patents and do it anyway then wait to be sued and fight it out in court in hopes you can break the patent anyway. It's crazy.
 

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,381
2,614
Buffalo, NY
Apple is officially a patent troll. :rolleyes:
:rolleyes: Sigh. Words seem to have lost meaning to some people.

A patent troll is a company who does not make products, like Lodsys, who uses their patents to go after other companies just for money.

Apple is either using patents to protect it's business or to drive others out of business.

Driving others out of business is not necessarily bad. If they own legit patents, it is totally fair to drive others who are doing illegal activities out of business.
 

nerdo

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2010
211
20
Deathstar Cantina
"HTC strongly denies all infringement claims raised by Apple in the past and present"
Then why oh why didn't any of the competing phones exist the way they do now before the iPhone? Everybody knows they copied the iPhone, HTC was famous for being one of the many teams out there ready to start copying the day after the iPhone was released. Oh and yes I know, someone will dismiss this as fanboi talk when the reality is, before the iPhone all we had was a crappy windows mobile. I gave my ipaq to a friend, it sucked.

Patents or not, before the iPhone nobody knew what to do with all the tech and make it user friendly. now they know how they want to sue the goose that laid the golden iEgg.

All pretty pathetic really but oh well.
 

PlipPlop

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2010
565
0
I wonder if Apple would be suing people if the iphone was selling as well as Android devices.
 

mccldwll

macrumors 65816
Jan 26, 2006
1,345
12
I'd wager the latter. Failing to check out the new consulting attorneys for possible conflict of interest could cost Apple their most important case against their biggest competitor. Understandable since he's so overworked, but costly just the same.

And you know he failed to check them out how? Please clarify/explain that potentially libelous statement.
 

dustinsc

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2009
230
52
:rolleyes: Sigh. Words seem to have lost meaning to some people.

A patent troll is a company who does not make products, like Lodsys, who uses their patents to go after other companies just for money.

Apple is either using patents to protect it's business or to drive others out of business.

Driving others out of business is not necessarily bad. If they own legit patents, it is totally fair to drive others who are doing illegal activities out of business.
I was thinking the exact same thing. Patents are a big thing and are important to allow innovators to profit from their inventions. I honestly don't know if Apple's case against HTC is solid because it depends on a lot of technical stuff, but when someone infringes on a patent, you'd better hope the patent holder goes after them.
 

johnnymg

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2008
1,316
6
:rolleyes: Sigh. Words seem to have lost meaning to some people.

A patent troll is a company who does not make products, like Lodsys, who uses their patents to go after other companies just for money.

Apple is either using patents to protect it's business or to drive others out of business.

Driving others out of business is not necessarily bad. If they own legit patents, it is totally fair to drive others who are doing illegal activities out of business.
So true. Funny how the poster you're responding to is 'like the pot calling the kettle black'. i.e. what he called Apple.
 

tctony

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
684
0
Man, this is getting ugly.


I wonder if Apple would be suing people if the iphone was selling as well as Android devices.

I know I'm just feeding the troll here, but what Android device is selling better than the iPhone? Which ONE Android device is outselling the iPhone?
 

erzhik

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2010
486
394
if you want to sue someone, fine. But asking the judge to block devices from being imported, that's a new low and a sign of fear. And people say that Apple is not a bully? funny.
 

.11

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2011
47
0
HTC buying S3 Graphics was a move that pproably blindside Apple, before they purchased the company HTC really didn't have any patents to counter sue.

And I wonder if Microsoft will come to the aid of HTC since they licence MS patents and both companies seem to have a good relationship.
 

Maavrik

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2011
2
0
@PlipPlop-Show me one Android device that outsells the iPhone. I will let you even take the Galaxy line. It doesnt hold a candle. sorry.

Two, I wonder if the HP lawyer came on with vested interest as well. HP has stated interest in licensing WebOS and Samsung has stated interest as well...will this push them to an agreement?
 

blackcrayon

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2003
2,013
1,507
if you want to sue someone, fine. But asking the judge to block devices from being imported, that's a new low and a sign of fear. And people say that Apple is not a bully? funny.
That would be a pretty standard way of dealing with someone violating your patents and shipping a product that should not exist (at least in Apple's mind).
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,568
638
Cork, Ireland.
I wonder how long it'll be before tech companies make more from patent lawsuits than selling products. Call me nostalgic, but I miss the good ol' days..
 

Thunderhawks

Suspended
Feb 17, 2009
4,057
2,118
I wonder if Apple would be suing people if the iphone was selling as well as Android devices.
No need to wonder.

Yes they would have sued, because when you own patents and tolerate that others violate them with your knowledge you lose them, as it looks as if you abandoned your patents.
 

dethmaShine

macrumors 68000
Apr 13, 2010
1,697
0
Into the lungs of Hell
Weird, eh?

When Microsoft tries to make a deal with HTC -- everything's fine.

When Apple does it -- HTC denies. When Apple sues -- HTC denies. When Apple files a complaint -- HTC denies. So basically, even if HTC wants to infringe, they can just infringe and keep denying patent infringement claims and then report to the press - "Apple needs to compete".

When Microsoft tries to make Android as a multi-billion dollar business, every thing's fine. When Apple tries to make up a deal, then Apple is a patent troll.

Some people need to get their heads out of their asses and understand that Apple has a valid and quite complex patent portfolio. Instead of coming to the press and talking fanboy stuff, defend the patents or license them.

Apple does try to be a bitch sometimes, but to me it looks like Apple is the one who is trying to rigorously compete and defend its IP.

@HTC: Defending the IP or in simple terms litigation is counter-competitive? Just license the patents and move on. No need to turn the press sideways.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,069
816
Pennsylvania
That's because Microsoft is ONLY going after a specific IP used in Android. Apple is trying to go after just about anyone who uses a touch-screen device, trying to stop them from selling their device, and being a bully about it.

One's acting like they're protecting their IP, the other's being a troll.
 

RalfTheDog

macrumors 65816
Feb 23, 2010
1,448
122
Lagrange Point
Long term, I think the best strategy is,

1. Shorten production schedules. Instead of one iPhone and one iPad per year, do two or more. Out spend them in R&D, innovate them into the ground.

2. Grab every bit of IP you can and keep them in court.

3. Out spend them 10 to 1 on advertising. Own the totality of the mind share.

if you want to sue someone, fine. But asking the judge to block devices from being imported, that's a new low and a sign of fear. And people say that Apple is not a bully? funny.
This has been standard operating procedure from the first day people started selling fake handbags in the United States, Not only can they block import, they can have all inventories in the US destroyed.
 
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