Apple is still waging a legal war with Samsung, but the company is already bracing for a new battle that threatens to entangle Apple with its foes Google, Adobe and Intel against a pack of angry tech workers who say the four companies were in cahoots on a no-hire agreement.
According to the latest court filings, the 64,000 tech workers represented in the class-action lawsuit claim that Apple and the other companies should not be allowed to limit evidence about Steve Jobs in the upcoming trial, no matter how unsavory it may be.
The tech workers claim the four companies conspired to not poach each others’ employees in an effort to keep salaries low, margins down and profits up while the CEOs and other VPs ate up all the fat.
Earlier this week Apple and the three other companies asked U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to keep the tech workers from unfairly portraying Jobs as a “bully” at the trial. The companies said they don’t want the court to ban all of the Jobs evidence, just stuff gleaned from sources like Walter Isaacson’s biography that paints Jobs in a bad light.
In a filing Thursday, the tech workers claim that material they want to use as evidence was already in Apple’s e-book antitrust case, so it should be fair game.
“That the jury might draw conclusions about Mr. Jobs’ character based on evidence showing the manner in which he pursued the conspiracy at the heart of this case is not grounds to exclude such evidence,” they wrote.
The trial is set to get under way May 22 and could see the tech titans paying damages of up to $3 billion.