Sydney: Steve Jobs had reportedly threatened to sue smartphone manufacturer, Palm, if it didn’t stop poaching Apple employees, according to documents.
Former Palm CEO Edward Colligan, in a sworn testimony to the United States district court of California, dated August 7th 2012, claimed that Jobs had called him the previous year "expressing concern about employees being hired away from Apple by Palm", reports News.com.au.
Colligan said that Jobs proposed an arrangement between Palm and Apple which neither company would hire the other’s employees. Jobs also suggested that if Palm did not agree to such an arrangement, Palm could face lawsuits alleging infringements of Apple’s many parents, he added.
Colligan replied stating that any agreement of the kind he was suggesting was likely illegal and said Palm could use patents of its own to sue Apple for copyright violation.
Jobs advised Palm to look into Apple’s patent portfolio before making a final decision considering the asymmetry in the financial resources of the two companies.
Palm was not the only company that was the subject of Jobs’ wrath.
Google CEO, Eric Schmidt also received an email from Jobs requesting that its new "cell phone software group" stop "relentlessly recruiting" people out of Apple’s iPod team.
Google heeded the warning, as a former senior staffing strategist told Eric Schmidt that one of their recruiters "would be terminated within the hour" for trying to hire an Apple employee. Schmidt replied that he would prefer the employee be issued a verbal firing to avoid creating a paper trail over which the company could be sued.
Apple, Intel and Google are currently the subject of a civil class action lawsuit where five employees are fighting for compensation for lost wages due to the "gentlemen’s agreements" the company had in place.
If the defendants are successful it could cost the companies millions of dollars.
First Published: Friday, January 25, 2013, 12:17