Reuters reported this morning that Apple’s chief patent attorney Richard “Chip” Lutton Junior is leaving the company “at a time when the iPhone maker is fighting numerous legal battles around the world, according to a source familiar with the situation”. The news gathering organization did a little digging on LinkedIn and found out that BJ Watrous is now listed as Vice President & Chief IP Counsel at Apple Inc. Watrous was hired from computer maker Hewlett-Packard where he led intellectual property, licensing and litigation efforts.

In addition 9to5Mac discovered a LinkedIn profile that belongs to Jason Skinder, now listed as Apple’s senior patent counsel and coming from law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP where he was a senior associate. The news about this departure arrived just as we learned that courts in US and Canada approved the sale of 6,000 patents and applications for $4.5 billion to an Apple-led group that includes industry heavy-weights such as Microsoft, Research In Motion, Ericsson, EMC and Sony (but not Google). Those willing to dive deeper are advised to check out Philip Elmer-DeWitt’s piece from this morning entitled “Much Ado About Patent Lawyers” over at the Fortune blogs.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author