Early this week, news broke that the Samsung CTO responsible for the Galaxy line of products is leaving the company to head up Citibank's digital banking efforts. Since the Galaxy phones and tablets are the subject of rather prominent patent lawsuits between the South Korean company and Apple, I assumed the departure was related. When law.com reported Apple's chief patent counsel had confirmed he is moving on by the end of the year, I thought, "I don't blame him. I'd want a change of pace, too."
What's more, Apple apparently hired new counsel. Former HP intellectual property attorney BJ Watrous is identified as Apple's chief IP counsel on his LinkedIn profile, but the company has not confirmed the hire. And in the meantime, Samsung filed a motion to have Apple's outside counsel, particularly five attorneys from the firm of Bridges & Mavrakakis, removed for a conflict of interest.
According to Ars Technica, Samsung argues the attorneys
previously represented Samsung in a patent lawsuit while working for a different law firm ... As a result, the attorneys involved had access to confidential Samsung information "substantially related" to the current case.
The attorneys, on the other hand, maintain no conflict of interest exists because the mobile industry has changed so much in the intervening years.
The state of mobile certainly changes quickly, but this seems like an awful lot of strategic maneuvering for nothing if these staff changes aren't somehow related to what's happening with the litigation.