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Apple recruits new laywers to help in upcoming legal fights

updated 11:50 am EST, Mon November 29, 2010

Company initiating, defending in many suits

Apple is bringing on some prominent outside lawyers to help in upcoming lawsuits, says Bloomberg. The company has for instance hired Ropert Krupka of Kirkland & Ellis, who previously helped Apple negotiate a $100 million settlement with Creative. Also onboard are WilmerHale's William Lee -- who successfully led Broadcom against Qualcomm -- and Weil, Gotshal & Manges' Matt Powers, who defended a Merck patent for Singulair, an asthma drug worth about $4.7 billion a year.

In-house hirings in recent times have included Noreen Krall, formerly the chief IP counsel for Sun, and at one point a staff attorney for IBM. Heading Apple's team is general counsel Bruce Sewell, who was hired last year. Prior to that he served for nearly 15 years at Intel, where expensive lawsuits were allegedly used as weapons to keep rivals contained.

Apple is this week set to square off against Finnish phone maker Nokia in front of the International Trade Commission. Similar battles are forthcoming with America's Motorola, and Taiwan's HTC, in addition to a regular assortment of lawsuits filed by smaller companies and individual customers. Apple has been the most-sued technology company since 2008, trumping even Microsoft, HP and Dell, says tracking firm LegalMetric.

The crux of Apple's bigger fights is believed to be defending the iPhone, while simultaneously trying to hamper the progress of smartphones based on Android. The platform has twice the US marketshare of the iPhone, owing in part to support from several phone manufacturers rather than just one. Legal struggles may ultimately be futile, suggests Rob Enderle, president of the Enderle Group consulting firm; although he says the situation will "get a lot worse before it gets better," the expected outcome involves Apple and its adversaries licensing each other's patents.

by MacNN Staff




  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2010


    comment title

    I'm praying there going to be sued for the illegal AT&T SIM lock monopoly they have, especially after all the c*** I had to go through last night to get 4.2.1 unlocked so I can use it on T-Mobile. Please someone, sue them and make them pay for this evil crime they are doing. Apple's a good company but this is a very bad thing they are doing.

  1. Haywire

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They're, their, there.

    They're playing their soccer game over there.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't even

    want to think about what a "Laywer" is or m ight b.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm praying there going to be sued for the illegal AT&T SIM lock monopoly they have,

    And what makes it illegal? Is there some law that we all missed that says every phone must be available to be bought by anyone and be used on any network?

    Or is it that you're upset because you can't get an iPhone because they worked out an exclusive deal with ATT and so, therefore, it must be illegal.

    And how do they have a monopoly when Apple's market share of cell phones is like 2%?

    Please someone, sue them and make them pay for this evil crime they are doing.

    What's the matter? You don't want to sue them?

    Apple's a good company but this is a very bad thing they are doing.

    "Apple's not bad. They just got caught up with the wrong crowd, man."

    or maybe "Apple? Yeah, they've been a good neighbor for 25 years. Quiet, kept to themselves. But this SIM lock with ATT? I never suspected they would do such a thing. And to think I let my kids play in their stores."

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Seriously, you need to go back to school.

    Anti trust laws, look them up sometime.

    Sorry, you first have to prove that owning an iPhone is a requirement in life, then you can possibly proceed.

    You mean like the "exclusive deal" AT&T had back in the 80s with landlines in the USA?

    No, since that "deal" was broken at the end of the 70s. And it wasn't an 'exclusive deal', that was a single company controlling the entire telecommunications market in the US. To the point where a person had to get their phone from the phone company and have them install it. Third-party phones were not allowed.

    See, that's a monopoly. Last I checked, there are at least four major cell carriers in the US. And there are hundreds of cell phones available to purchase in the US.

    So how can you claim 'anti-trust' on the ATT/Apple deal with the iPhone? You have your choice of other phones. You can get other phones that aren't locked to a carrier.

    Unless you were up in arms over every single phone that has been released in the past 20 years that was only available from one carrier, you have no right to argue now about the iPhone.

    I don't have millions of dollars to sue a company Apple's size. I know many people do but there too stupid to realize this is something worth a class action lawsuit.

    That's right. All those 'stupid' people, not too stupid to file class action lawsuits against Apple for scratches to glass, grip issues, or 600 problems with iPods/iPhones/Macs/etc, but too stupid to sue for anti-trust over the ATT thing?

    Second off, class-actions are cheap to people like you. You find a lawyer, they sue on spec. It doesn't cost you squat. These lawyers hope to make millions off the suit itself, for they'll get theirs in the settlement or on winning the case. These guys are vultures, always looking for someone who'll sue a company over something. So if they haven't gotten one going yet, maybe there's a reason.

    And going along with that, anti-trust decisions bring treble damages! That's "You sue for 100 million dollars, you get 300 million". If there's something the lawyers love more than winning 100 million it's winning three times that.

    So maybe it isn't the entire American populace that is stupid on this issue, just one person or so.

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