Apart from being financial reporting season, it seems it also suing season as not only is Nokia and Qualcomm along with a bevy of many other tech firms lining the pockets of their lawyers, but now it seems Motorola has decided Apple has stolen IP from it used in the iPhone and taking court action.
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Basically, Motorola is accusing one of Apple’s executives of stealing trade secrets, claiming, that with the knowledge he gained whilst working at Motorola, he held trade secrets that helped launch Apple’s iPhone.
Michael Fenger, who left his position as vice president of Motorola’s mobile device business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in March, was quickly gobbled up by Apple and promptly promoted into the position of Apple’s vice president for global iPhone sales.
But according to Motorola, “He was privy to the pricing, margins, customer initiatives, allocation of resources, product development, multiyear product, business and talent planning and strategies being used by Motorola.”
The company also says Fenger “violated a clause in his contract which prevented him working for a rival firm for two years”.
Now these kind of ‘no work for rival firms’ clauses are notorious for being as water-tight as a sieve in legal terms as they basically amount to a restriction of trade, but one cant help but to feel sorry for Motorola, as the company has enough problems in the smartphone space without watching its rivals get all the glory and then some.
However, Motorola doesn’t seem to be going after Apple itself as it is not named as a defendant in the case, and it looks like it is only Fenger whose blood they want.
That maybe a smart move in terms of any future collaboration between the two companies, who have a long history in collaborating in the hardware space, however, one assumes that Fenger will be spending a lot of time in court and a lot less time thinking up of innovative marketing ideas for his new employer.
Perhaps that was the idea by Motorola all along?