Apple’s strong string of successes makes it a prime target for lawsuits. Although the vast number of lawsuits are filed by Apple against other companies, it is not uncommon to see others sue the iPhone maker. One of the more recent lawsuits against the company was initially filed by battery maker A123 Systems.
Apple accused of poaching employees
The latter company claimed Apple poached key employees to join its rumored automotive team, which reportedly consists of hundreds of employees. A123 Systems isn’t the only company to have lost employees from Apple’s poaching. The company also reportedly poached engineers from automotive giants including General Motors, Tesla and Ford. Apple also enticed employees from lesser known companies including Ogin, MIT Motorsports, General Dynamics, and Concept Systems.
A123 originally claimed in its lawsuit that one engineer went against an agreement that he wouldn’t take employees from the battery maker after he left to join Apple. The former engineer listed was Mujeeb Ijaz, one of the five defendants who were former A123 employees.
Michael Mauboussin: Here’s what active managers can do
One step closer to an agreement
Earlier this week, a federal judge gave A123 Systems and Apple a little more time to complete the settlement they were close to reaching. The two sides reportedly signed the term sheet and are said to be currently in the midst of drafting the last agreement. Apple fought against the claims and argued that the lawsuit was irrelevant.
A123 Systems was a battery developer that specialized in making automotive batteries. The company went public six years ago before it went bankrupt and was subsequently acquired by Wanxiang Group for $257 million.
Apple is rumored to be working on an electric car, and it may even be an autonomous vehicle. Earlier this year, rumors surfaced that the Cupertino tech giant was specifically looking for employees from rival company Samsung. One official from the South Korean-based tech maker confirmed that a few Samsung employees joined the secret automotive project.