Apple, A123 settling their lawsuit over poached battery engineers

“Apple and advanced battery maker A123 Systems say they have nearly settled a federal lawsuit accusing Apple of poaching A123’s scientists and engineers to build a competing battery business,” Curt Woodward reports for The Boston Globe.

“The lawsuit, which was filed early this year, lifted the veil on the typically secretive inner workings at Apple,” Woodward reports. “It has added fuel to news reports that Apple is researching the possibility of building an electric car, a project that Apple has not confirmed.”

“On Tuesday, a federal judge granted A123 more time to finalize the settlement with Apple,” Woodward reports. “In a court filing, the two sides reported that they “have reached an agreement, signed a term sheet, and are in the process of drafting a final settlement agreement.””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good to hear.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple exploring resolution of A123 battery-maker’s poaching suit – March 3, 2015
Why is Apple building a large-scale battery division? – February 19, 2015
Lawsuit claims Apple poaching auto engineers to build large-scale battery division – February 19, 2015
Apple poached workers for new battery division, A123 Systems lawsuit claims – February 18, 2015

6 Comments

  1. I know many folks will disagree with me but these types of “employment” agreements and should be removed by legislation. Free people in a free society in a free market should be free to work for whomever they choose as long as they do not owe money to an employee (relocation, education loans, etc). “Non-compete” and “non solicitation agreements” are bad for ALL employees and bad for business growth. The only “slightly” viable argument is that they protect investors but they do so at the cost of employees and so should be made illegal by state legislation.

    1. Poaching employees is more about corporate espionage and stealing corporate Intellectual Property. When an employee who is working on a battery technology leaves a company to work for another company, that employee is hired because they know about battery technology. It is impossible for that employee to forget about what they developed with the first company and work on non-related battery things in the second (poaching) company.

      1. Companies have patent protection and already have legitimate claim to all IP that an employee creates while being paid by the company. Patent any new technology the employee creates and “lock” her or him into the company via stock options / profit sharing / alternate comp (i.e. Golden Handcuffs) or compete for what that person knows and does on the free market.

        1. It seems like you don’t have any experience working under an NDA of creating an NDA as an employer. Perhaps you can share your depth of knowledge of NDAs.

          1. I have a lot of experience with Non-Disclosure Agreements, as well as Non-Compete Agreements and Non-Soliciation Agreements as I have had to sign all three in my last three positions. I have 0 issue with NDAs. My issue is when an employer requires an employee to sign an agreement at hire that says they can’t work in that industry or for a specific competitor for a specific time if they leave of their own accord without permission from the previous employer. I think that is unfair to an employee and too one sided to the employer. I have always been able to work around mine but they always cost me money. I have less issue with Non-Solicitation (do I need to define that for you?) but I still think it is unreasonable that if I find a great job or opportunity I can’t help my friends also improve their situations. Again if an employer wants to keep them then they should have to compete to keep the talent.

    2. *sorry should say than EMPLOYER – if an employer invests money to relocate an employee to pays money to a 3d party for training or education benefits and the employee agrees to it then they should have to either repay the pro rated amount when they leave or stay until the debt is settled. “In-house” training is always done at the employees benefit and almost always during work hours and so that should not apply to employee retention. If an employer does not want an employee to leave they should be forced to retain them via a positive environment or “golden handcuffs”.

      Can you tell I’ve been bit by this type of stuff multiple times 🙁

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