From the Chicago Tribune:
“Schaumburg-based mobile phone-maker Motorola Inc. has sued a former executive, accusing him of disclosing trade secrets to aid current employer Apple Inc.
Michael Fenger in March ended an almost six-year career at Motorola, where he was a vice president for its mobile-device business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is now Apple’s vice president for global iPhone sales, according to a complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago.
“He was privy to the pricing, margins, customer initiatives, allocation of resources, product development, multiyear-product, business and talent planning, and strategies being used by Motorola,” according to the complaint filed late Thursday.”
Couple of comments.
Fenger’s current work with Apple can’t have started before March of this year so he’s currently brought nothing to the company. I understand he may have ht the ground running but really he’s probably just managed to get his business cards printed
Does this not validate Apple as a competitor in the mobile space, albeit to a company which has lost $1.5 billion in the last 18 months and shows little or no promise of making a compelling product since sitting on their laurels with the RAZR.
Why does MOT even care? Same month as Fenger left, MOT announced they planned to rid themselves of the mobile phone division. Hard to believe that one is not linked to the other. And if MOT is getting out of the mobile phone business, then Apple can hardly be a competitor.
There is, of course, debate on whether Motorola’s strategies, pricing, initiatives, product development and resource allocation is something that Apple would seek to emulate. Or whether Motorola is simply emulating Apple of the 1990s.
But, most relevantly, California’s Business & Professions Code Section 16600 is quite simple and means what it says: California law treats as “not worth the paper it is written on” any provision, contract term or purported “agreement” that prevents them from working for a competitor or to work for him or herself. Whether he actually ‘stole’ information or not, this is going to be something hard to prove for by MOT.