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Thread: Lawsuit Claims Apple Poached Employees from Firm's Battery Division for its Own Project

  1. #1
    What's Jailbreak? Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Lawsuit Claims Apple Poached Employees from Firm's Battery Division for its Own Project


    According to a recent lawsuit, Apple poached workers with proprietary information vital to battery manufacturer A123 Systems’ operations in an attempt to build out its own competing battery division in California. The employees that were poached were reportedly key members of the company’s advanced System Venture Technologies Division.

    The folks over at A123 described the technology incubator as being tasked with accelerating “game changing technologies,” Venture Technologies was headed by CTO Mujeeb Ijaz, who reportedly left the company for Apple in what seemed to be “suspicious circumstances.” Four former staff members, Don Dafoe, Michael Erickson, Depeng Wang and Indrajeet Thorat also worked on the advanced energy storage division and left A123 within the last month.

    A new lawsuit filed in early February claims Apple poached workers with proprietary information vital to battery manufacturer A123 Systems' operations in an attempt to build out its own competing battery division in California. As noted in the filing, Apple seems to be conducting “an aggressive campaign to poach employees of A123 and to other raid A123’s business” since June of 2014. In particular at issue was a non-disclosure, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, which Ijaz supposedly breached by recruiting one or more of his former colleagues after joining Apple. With the staff departing, A123 alleges that it has shut down individual projects assigned to each worker for lack of suitable replacements.

    Along with the five A123 workers, the suit claims that Apple has targeted employees from other companies who have knowledge of the firm’s battery technology

    In addition to the five A123 workers, the suit alleges Apple has targeted employees from other companies who have knowledge of the firm's battery technology, including staff from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Toshiba and Johnson Controls. Ijaz in particular allegedly reached out to employees at A123 collaborator SiNode Systems, a research and development firm focusing on lithium ion battery technology.

    Aside from the usual monetary damages and legal fees, A123 is requesting the court enjoin Ijaz and the four other former employees from working at Apple or any other competing company for one year and bar Apple from hiring other employees from A123's Venture Technologies division.

    Source: A123 Systems, Law360, Scribd

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    Green Apple
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    This is when Apple throws some of their pocket change (note that Apple pocket change probably has 8+ figures) at these guys to make them go away.

  3. #3
    This is a dumb lawsuit people leave companies all the time to start working for other companies on a daily basis maybe what Apple was willing to pay them was more than what they were making working for A123 heck if I could make more Money and benefits for the same kind of work I would be gone in a heart beat.

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