Apple and car battery firm A123 on verge of settling job poaching lawsuit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2015
Apple and battery maker A123 Systems are nearing the settlement of a federal lawsuit which accused the former of poaching engineers and scientists from A123 in an attempt to create a new battery division, according to court documents submitted this week.




A judge granted A123 more time to finalize settlement terms, the Boston Globe reported. The documents stated that both sides have "reached an agreement, signed a term sheet, and are in the process of drafting a final settlement agreement."

At the heart of the lawsuit was the charge that Apple poached five executives linked to A123's System Venture Technologies Division, including the now-former chief technology officer, Mujeeb Ijaz. Ijaz allegedly violated an agreement not to recruit from his former employer after going to Apple. The lost staff forced A123 to shut down several projects, while contributing to "a large scale [Apple] battery division to compete in the very same field," A123 claimed.

In March, Apple sought to dismiss the case, even as it was simulaneously in settlement talks.

A123 specializes in car batteries, which has fueled rumors that Apple is developing an electric car of its own. Apple has also been hiring people away from electric car maker Tesla, although Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that more workers are headed in the opposite direction.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,760member
    An example of a suit Apple should've fought tooth and nail. Completely frivolous.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,293member

    Is poaching illegal? I don’t think so. According to the article I guess this revolves around the agreement Mujeeb Ijaz had with A123 to not poach any more employees after leaving for Apple. Would it have been cheaper for Apple to just buy A123?

     

    As for Musk and his statements he’s just trying to make like his balls are bigger than Tim Cook’s. 

  • Reply 3 of 14
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member

    Just so I understand... If Apple abides with agreements not to poach, it's wrong. And if Apple doesn't abide with agreements not to poach, it's wrong. Got it. 

  • Reply 4 of 14
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,825member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

     

    Just so I understand... If Apple abides with agreements not to poach, it's wrong. And if Apple doesn't abide with agreements not to poach, it's wrong. Got it. 


     

    Of course,.. There's no way to win.  It's a game just like Tic Tack Toe.  There's no way to win.

  • Reply 5 of 14
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

     

    Just so I understand... If Apple abides with agreements not to poach, it's wrong. And if Apple doesn't abide with agreements not to poach, it's wrong. Got it. 

     




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post

     

     

    Of course,.. There's no way to win.  It's a game just like Tic Tack Toe.  There's no way to win.


     

     

    Except in Tic Tac Toe, it's simple not to lose. Here, there seems to be no way to avoid losing.

  • Reply 6 of 14
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    Edit: The ex-A123 employees had noncompete, [I][B]nonsolicit, and nondisclosure[/B][/I] agreements with A123. Apple hired 1, then 4 more, knowing of the agrrments. Allegedly.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,514member
    Time to update this news. The BBC seems to be ahead of AI. Case Settled it seems.

    The question is what is Apple up to here?
  • Reply 8 of 14
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    Time to update this news. The BBC seems to be ahead of AI. Case Settled it seems.

    The question is what is Apple up to here?

    BBC article says essentially the same as AI: The agreement in principle was disclosed in the papers filed by the battery-maker, which is based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The two parties are said to be working out the final details
  • Reply 9 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,760member
    runbuh wrote: »
    BBC article says essentially the same as AI: The agreement in principle was disclosed in the papers filed by the battery-maker, which is based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The two parties are said to be working out the final details

    If I recall correctly, this firm was in the process of collapse as a profitable business, or may have already entered into bankruptcy. What employee in their right mind would have waited to see what came next? Sometime after, the company was sold to a Chinese company... Who else remembers this timeline?
  • Reply 10 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,514member
    If I recall correctly, this firm was in the process of collapse as a profitable business, or may have already entered into bankruptcy. What employee in their right mind would have waited to see what came next? Sometime after, the company was sold to a Chinese company... Who else remembers this timeline?

    I agree. Of course 'settled' might not mean Apple gets screwed to the wall as the media would love to spin it no doubt, perhaps something far more reasonable that benefits both parties. It will be interesting to read the final outcome.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,514member
    runbuh wrote: »
    BBC article says essentially the same as AI: The agreement in principle was disclosed in the papers filed by the battery-maker, which is based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The two parties are said to be working out the final details

    I'd respectfully disagree that they are the same. "Apple has agreed to settle a case..." versus "Apple and car battery firm A123 on verge of ..."

    I was not criticizing AI's wording, rather suggesting they needed to update it. Clearly it was written earlier than the BBC's report.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    I'd respectfully disagree that they are the same. "Apple has agreed to settle a case..." versus "Apple and car battery firm A123 on verge of ..."

    I was not criticizing AI's wording, rather suggesting they needed to update it. Clearly it was written earlier than the BBC's report.

    Then let me post a different quote from the AI article that you could read if you bothered to scroll up.

    A judge granted A123 more time to finalize settlement terms, the Boston Globe reported. The documents stated that both sides have "reached an agreement, signed a term sheet, and are in the process of drafting a final settlement agreement."

    Until the ink is on the paper, and the judge has signed off on the agreement, the parties have not officially settled (IANAL, but I just went through a settlement on a civil case).
  • Reply 13 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,514member
    runbuh wrote: »
    Then let me post a different quote from the AI article that you could read if you bothered to scroll up.

    A judge granted A123 more time to finalize settlement terms, the Boston Globe reported. The documents stated that both sides have "reached an agreement, signed a term sheet, and are in the process of drafting a final settlement agreement."

    Until the ink is on the paper, and the judge has signed off on the agreement, the parties have not officially settled (IANAL, but I just went through a settlement on a civil case).

    OK, sorry to hear that, then I bow to your better ability to interpret legal jargon. :)

    There was a day difference in the two articles I think, along with the different emphasis in the headlines, hence it seemed a logical deduction on my part that AI was lagging. Surprisingly I often see the BBC hours or even a day ahead of the likes of CNN on many major stories related to the USA, so I probably jumped to a false conclusion.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    OK, sorry to hear that, then I bow to your better ability to interpret legal jargon. :)

    There was a day difference in the two articles I think, along with the different emphasis in the headlines, hence it seemed a logical deduction on my part that AI was lagging. Surprisingly I often see the BBC hours or even a day ahead of the likes of CNN on many major stories related to the USA, so I probably jumped to a false conclusion.

    And I apologize for the tone of my response. My tone was uncalled for (lawsuits will make you grouchy - even if you come out on top - think carefully before you ever sue someone).
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