Apple's chief patent attorney appears to be leaving company

It would appear that Richard Lutton Jr, or "Chip" as he is known, is on the path to leaving Apple. The report, originally from Reuters, did not go into specifics about the reason for his departure, giving only a rough estimate that Lutton will leave the company sometime "in the next month". Lutton's presumed departure has happened during the middle of a host of different patent suits from the Cupertino company; the most well known of these is likely with Samsung. Apple alleged the company had copied their designs for hardware and were copying the iOS interface with their versions of Android. Samsung then responded to this.

Even last week, Apple tried to prevent Samsung smartphones and tablets from being imported to the United States through the International Trade Commission. Apple called Samsung one of the "principal infringers" against their produce designs. Below is an extract from their complaint:

"Apple's innovations and products have been the subject of widespread imitation by Apple's competitors. Others have attempted to capitalize on Apple's success by copying its innovative technology, distinctive user interface and overall product design."

Yesterday, the company filed a second complaint against HTC. They allege that at least twelve of the devices from the Taiwanese company, including the HTC Flyer tablet, violate Apple's patents. HTC's general counsel, Grace Lei, said the following in a statement directed towards Apple:

"HTC is dismayed that Apple has resorted to competition in the courts rather than the market place. HTC continues to vehemently deny all of Apple's past and present claims against it and will continue to protect and defend its own intellectual property as it has already done this year."

Hewlett-Packard's BJ Watrous is already lined up to replace Lutton when he leaves the company, with his LinkedIn profile showing HP as a past employer, after having joined Apple last month.

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