Tuesday, October 2, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Darren Eastman Sues Apple

Thomas Claburn:

In 2009, Eastman says, Jobs made him “promise that he’d always work for Apple and indicated that a job would always be available for him.” And Jobs, he said, asked Eastman to report Mac software and hardware quality issues directly to him if the problems could not be resolved through standard channels.

These reports continued until Jobs’s death in 2011, Eastman says.

Under CEO Tim Cook, however, Eastman contends Apple’s commitment to quality has declined.

Ethan Baron:

“Many talented employees who’ve given part of their life for Apple were now regularly being disciplined and terminated for reporting issues they were expected to (report) during Mr. Jobs tenure,” Eastman alleged in the filing.

“Cronyism and a dedicated effort to ignore quality issues in current and future products became the most important projects to perpetuate the goal of ignoring the law and minimizing tax.

[…]

“Notifying Mr. Cook about issues (previously welcomed by Mr. Jobs) produces either no response, or, a threatening one later by your direct manager,” Eastman claimed.

“There’s no accountability, with attempts at doing the right thing met with swift retaliation.”

Is he alleging that engineers are tasked with helping Apple to avoid paying taxes? Or he is just adding his opinions on unrelated issues to his lawsuit while people are listening to him?

Malcolm Owen:

Darren Eastman wants to be acknowledged as an inventor for five Apple patent applications, according to filings with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Filed on Thursday, the complaint alleges how Eastman’s ideas were accepted and then employed by Apple in its products and filings, but without his crediting.

A patent application for electronic ticketing is claimed to have been taken from technology developed by Eastman before joining Apple in 2006, and was declared in an Intellectual Property Agreement he signed with the company the previous year. In February 2006, Eastman told former CEO Steve Jobs about the ticketing concept, with Jobs replying it was “insanely great” and potentially able to break a monopoly held by Ticketmaster.

For the patent application relating to Find My iPhone, Eastman claims he lost his original iPhone in 2008, inspiring him to come up with a device location system.

[…]

After joining in 2006, Eastman was fired on September 26, 2014, under claims of unprofessional and inappropriate communications. The issue is said to be due to attempts to solicit his manager to “do his job” to integrate a crucial fix to Disk Utility in Yosemite before its release.

Previously: Disk Utility in El Capitan, Apple, Ireland, and the EU.

5 Comments

SJ was famous for making similar promises to people, just as he was famous for illegally firing people. Apple kept a slush fund of millions for the express purpose of paying off employees whose circumstances ended up beyond the law due to SJ's words or actions.

While Darren's situation does admittedly have the ring of sour grapes, his claims are consistent with both what is known within Apple and what is observable from the outside. I wish him victory.

> Eastman was fired on September 26, 2014, under claims of unprofessional and inappropriate communications. The issue is said to be due to attempts to solicit his manager to “do his job” to integrate a crucial fix to Disk Utility in Yosemite before its release.

If you remember what Disk Utility was like after its rewrite in Yosemite, this has the ring of truth.

Self-correction> Disk Utility was rewritten in El Capitan, not Yosemite.

“Is he alleging that engineers are tasked with helping Apple to avoid paying taxes? Or he is just adding his opinions on unrelated issues to his lawsuit while people are listening to him?”

I think he’s just saying that Apple’s priorities as a company have changed, deemphasizing quality and focusing on legal/accounting tricks, though each are done by different parts of the company.

It’s definitely a caustic opinion about the company. I’m not sure it’s entirely divorced from the case. I suppose if you’re going to claim Apple is cutting quality efforts, someone’s going to ask why they would do that or what they are doing instead.

@Jon It just seems really strange to me to say that they are focusing on accounting tricks instead of quality. I think it undermines the rest of his case a bit. And there were certainly tax/accounting tricks under Steve Jobs; I don’t recall reading about any that Tim Cook started rather than continued.

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