Apple’s chief patent lawyer, Richard “Chip” Lutton Jr., will soon leave the company, according to a Reuters report.

Apple is facing some incredible challenges in the patent realm, and the company is embroiled in legal challenges with the likes of Samsung, HTC, and Lodsys. The company has reportedly hired BJ Watrous, former deputy general counsel with Hewlett Packard, to fill Lutton’s spot.

Apple did not immediately respond to our questions about the development.

The biggest ongoing case involves Samsung, which has been fighting back and forth with Apple since April. Apple recently filed an ITC complaint asking for import ban on Samsung products after Samsung asked for its own import ban on Apple devices. Then there’s major phone manufacturer HTC, which Apple reportedly targeted with a second patent complaint yesterday.

It can’t be a good sign that this change is happening. Apple is the middle of some of the biggest legal challenges it has ever faced, with serious financial and distribution consequences if it loses any of these battles.

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