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Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe appeal for $325m no-hire settlement

Resisting push for more damages
Fri Sep 05 2014, 15:16
Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe will pay $325m to settle no hire case, ideally

TECHNOLOGY FIRMS Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe have filed an appeal to get their $325m no-hiring agreement settlement accepted in the face of reluctance from the courts.

The firms are looking to settle a lawsuit that complained of a behind the scenes arrangement not to hire each others' employees and effectively harmed the careers and earnings prospects of Silicon Valley personnel.

Reports today say that the firms have appealed the rejection of the settlement amount by US District Court Judge Judy Koh, who ruled that the offer is too low.

Koh rejected the offer last month, and in the appeal filed this week the defendant firms accused her of siding with the plaintiffs.

Judge Koh "committed clear legal error", argued the appeal filing that has been reproduced by Reuters, and "impermissibly substituted the court's assessment of the value of the case for that of the parties who have been litigating the case for more than three years".

Judge Koh, who mentioned a settlement amount of at least $380m, apparently is immovable, according to the appeal, which calls her "rigid and formulaic in her approach".

Her attitude is that the proposed amount is unreasonable and that there was a very obvious conspiracy, possibly with Steve Jobs at the helm.

"The Court cannot conclude that the instant settlement falls within the range of reasonableness," wrote the judge. "As this Court stated in its summary judgment order, there is ample evidence of an overarching conspiracy."

Seated in a US federal court in San Jose, California, Judge Koh has presided over several court cases involving the technology industry in Silicon Valley. She has in the past accused lawyers of "smoking crack" when considering damages. µ


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