IBM GC defects to Apple

Apple Computer has scaled up the technology rivalry with IBM, taking the company’s senior vice president and general counsel Donald Rosenberg.

Rosenberg had worked at IBM for more than 30 years, but was only named as senior vice president and general counsel in January.

He joins Apple with the same title, and will report to chief executive Steve Jobs.

Previously he had been vice president and assistant general counsel for litigation and counsel to IBM’s mainframe division, where he was crucial in the formulation of IBM’s IP protection policies.

Apple’s statement did not say whom Rosenberg replaced, but the company’s 2005 annual report listed Nancy Heinen as senior vice president and general counsel.

The move follows that of IBM’s Europe Middle East and Africa general counsel Carl Belding, who quit the firm in October 2005 to take up the role of chief legal officer at Nokia from 1 January 2006.