With multiple ongoing legal battles and patent complaints filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, or ITC, it turns out Apple Inc. could be losing its chief patent lawyer, according to reports.
Reuters is reproting that Richard Chip Lutton Junior will leave Apple Inc. soon but said it's unclear why. Junior manages Apple's patent portfolio.
The news agency said BJ Watrous, a former deputy general counsel with Hewlett Packard, is now listed as Apple's chief IP counsel.
On his LinkedIn web page, Watrous is listed as vice president and chief IP counsel at Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. filed a complaint on July 8 against Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC with the U.S. International Trade Commission, or ITC. It is the second complaint the iPhone maker filed against HTC for patent infringement.
In the complaint, Apple requested that ITC conduct an investigation under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, regarding certain portable electronic devices and related software, according to a notice on the ITC website.
Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 prohibits unfair import competition, which may threaten a U.S. industry, preventing its establishment or trade in the U.S. It also prevents the importation of things that infringe on U.S. patents and trademarks.
The two smartphone companies have been fighting over patents since last year.
Apple announced last March that it sued HTC for patent infringement, alleging last year that the Taiwanese company infringed on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. This lawsuit was filed concurrently with the ITC and in U.S. District Court in Delaware, according to an Apple release.
In 2007, Apple brought the revolutionary iPhone, which has sold millions worldwide, and has a App Store with more 150,000 mobile applications in more than 90 countries.
HTC, in defense, responded with legal action in May 2010 by filing a complaint with the ITC, requesting a stop to the importation and sale of iPhone, iPad and iPod in the U.S.