Court documents reveal passive aggressive threats made by Steve Jobs to Palm
This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.
There has been a popular narrative among Android / Google fans that Apple is a corporate Goliath that is willing to take up any step whatsoever in its attempts at launching, in the words of Apple's now deceased CEO Steve Jobs, a 'thermonuclear war' on its rivals like Android. While there has been a fair amount of evidence to prove that those claims may be at least a tad exaggerated, some new reports emerging from court documents related to a class action suit against several Silicon Valley giants seem to indicate that Jobs himself was not exactly diplomatic in trying to threaten the currently non existent Palm with a multitude of consequences if they didn't comply with his (and Apple's anti poaching measures).
The revealed filing is part of a civil lawsuit filed against the likes of Apple, Google, Intel and other Silicon Valley giants that pertains to verbal agreements made between these companies (under duress from Apple or otherwise) to stop poaching of employees among themselves. The lawsuit is an outcome of plenty of aggrieved Silicon Valley employees in the past decade who feel or have felt that they lost out on large amounts of money due to these anti competitive (and very illegal) agreements.
"Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other's employees, regardless of the individual's desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal.[...]Palm doesn't target other companies-we look for the best people we can find. l'd hope the same could be said about Apple1s practices. However, during the last year or so, as Apple geared up to compete with Palm in the phone space, Apple hired at least 2% of Palm's workforce. To put it in perspective, had Palm done the same, we'd have hired 300 folks from Apple. Instead, to my knowledge, we've hired just three." - Palm's ex CEO, Edward Colligan, in an email to Steve Jobs in 2007
Just for the record, when Siemens sold their handset business to BenQ they didn't sell them their essential patents but rather just gave them a license. The patents they did sell to BenQ are not that great. We looked at them ourselves when they were for sale. I guess you guys felt differently and bought them. We are not concerned about them at all. My advice is to take a look at our patent portfolio before you make a final decision here. - Steve Jobs, Apple ex CEO, in a reply to Colligan's email listed above.
The companies in question probably face a long and damaging lawsuit in the months ahead, as they have most definitely broken laws with agreements of the nature they're being accused to make. Judging by Jobs' very open and clear email to Colligan, Apple may just face some extra heat in the near future.