08.21.09

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Apple’s Third Offense Against Linux-powered Palm Gadgets

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Law, Patents at 4:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Palm T2

Summary: Steve Jobs wanted to collude with Palm

Apple’s abuse of Linux and Palm [1, 2] recently led to a formal complaint from Palm. It is part of an ongoing pattern where Apple uses patents, breakage of interoperability, or total lack of interoperability to stifle adoption of GNU/Linux or Linux-powered devices [1, 2]. What is Apple so afraid of? That people will find out that more affordable products are just as good — if not better — than Apple’s?

Now we come to discover that 2 years ago Apple was quietly attempting to sort of collude with Palm, as some other companies do. Palm declined the offer, which came from no-one other than Steve Jobs himself. Here is a summary from The Inquirer.

Former Palm chief executive Ed Colligan discussed the matter with Jobs in August 2007, as the smartphone war heated up. According to AP, he rejected the proposal, calling it wrong and “likely illegal”.

[...]

Jobs’ comments have come back to haunt him as the US Justice Department is very interested in how tech companies are trying to lock in staff with bizarre employment contracts.

Derick Mains, a spokesman for Palm said the company had not been contacted by the Justice Department yet.

Got to love the “free market”, eh?

The original report came either from AP or from Bloomberg, which wrote:

Former Palm Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ed Colligan rejected a proposal from Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs to refrain from hiring each other’s employees two years ago, calling it wrong and “likely illegal,” according to their communications.

In The Register they write:

Two years ago, Apple chief exec Steve Jobs suggested to Palm’s then-CEO Ed Colligan that the two companies agree not to hire each other’s employees. Colligan reportedly refused, saying such a deal would be “likely illegal”.

This does not look particularly good. A year ago we also wrote about alleged involvement in backdating, but Steve Jobs — like all rich men — was eventually acquitted of all charges.

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