Steve Jobs threatened to sue for patent Palm to not take away employees
Steve Jobs threatened to file a patent lawsuit against Palm technology company CEO if the company did not agree to refrain from capturing Apple employees, according to a court document released Tuesday.
Communication Jobs appeared in a civil lawsuit filed by five workers from Apple, Google, Intel and other technology companies, alleging an illegal conspiracy to eliminate competition and reduce wages.
Technology companies have tried to keep defendants in a series of secret documents. However, District Judge of the United States in San Jose, California, Lucy Koh rejected parts of the application, prompting them to come out into the open the details on communications Jobs and the then head of Palm, Edward Colligan, had in 2007.
Jobs proposed eliminating competition for skilled personnel between the two companies, according to an affidavit of Colligan cited by the plaintiffs.
PATENT PROSECUTION “Mr. Jobs also suggested that if Palm did not accept this type of agreement, Palm could face lawsuits for alleged violation of many Apple patents,” Colligan said in the statement.
An Apple representative could not be reached immediately for comment. A spokesman for Hewlett-Packard, which acquired Palm, also could not be contacted.
Colligan told Jobs that the plan was “probably illegal” and that Palm was not “intimidated” by the threat.
“If you choose the path of demands, we can respond with our own claims based on Palm’s patent portfolio, but I do not think litigation is the answer,” he said.
ANTITRUST LAW In 2010, Google, Apple, Adobe Systems, Intel, Intuit and Pixar unit of Walt Disney reached an agreement with the Department of Justice United States refrain from preventing them from poaching of other employees.
The Justice Department and California antitrust regulators demanded then eBay, late last year, for an alleged agreement with Intuit to not “steal” employees.
On Tuesday, eBay asked a U.S. judge to dismiss the government’s claims, saying the company had not done anything wrong.
Antitrust law “does not exist excessively controlling the interaction between workers and directors of a public company,” eBay said in its document. A Justice Department spokesman could not be reached immediately.