Apple's Burned Out Top Patent Legal Eagle Flies Away from Cupertino
Last month, we reported on the recent rash of mid-to-high level Apple executive departures that shook things up a bit inside the hallowed high towers of Cupertino, California. As some will recall, there was the announced departure of John Herbold, the senior project manager of iCloud, a loss for the company that came just days after Apple's chief of retail operations, Ron Johnson, announced he's leaving Apple to become the new CEO of JC Penney.
Today, we've learned Apple has lost another one. Reuters snooped around to find that Apple’s chief patent attorney Richard “Chip” Lutton Junior is bailing on the tech giant just as the company "is fighting numerous legal battles around the world, according to a source familiar with the situation.”
BJ Watrous will now serve as Chief IP Counsel at Apple. Watrous is a Hewlett-Packard transplant, having served as the company's go-to-guy on intellectual property, licensing and other related matters of litigation. Naturally, it doesn't take a rocket-scientist to figure out that Watrous has his work cut out for him.
Although Reuters didn't speculate as to why "Chip" fled the company, isn't it pretty obvious? Apple is entrenched in no shortage of legal battles (most of which pertain to patents and intellectual property), and a strong legal team has arguably never been more important to the tech company. Consequently, the burdens and demands of the job must be excruciating.