Rivos countersues Apple over employee intimidation with restrictive agreements

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Chipmaking startup Rivos is now countersuing Apple, claiming that the tech giant forces employees into restrictive contracts designed to prevent them from seeking employment elsewhere.




In May 2022, Apple launched a lawsuit against "stealth" startup Rivos, claiming it poached engineers to try and steal confidential documents and trade secrets about its chip designs.

Now, Rivos is countersuing, alleging that Apple forces employees to sign "overbroad" non-compete agreements that would prevent them from working elsewhere.

The countersuit, spotted by Bloomberg, says that Apple's restrictive agreements are designed to intimidate employees who might want to leave Apple to work elsewhere.

Rivos says that Apple's non-disclosure and non-solicit agreements are far too broad and cover "anything 'learned' during the course of employment, regardless whether it is a trade secret."

Rivos also says that Apple allows its employees to store work documents in iCloud and iMessage, but the company doesn't inspect the data and messages upon leaving.

Apple's initial lawsuit against Rivos alleged that two former employees had taken gigabytes of files from Apple, purportedly to be used by Rivos. The engineers allegedly took a trove of thousands of documents, which covered confidential internal projects and some related to Apple's SoC designs.

In November 2022, Apple settled a lawsuit against Simon Lancaster, a former materials lead who allegedly stole trade secrets and shared them with a journalist.

In April, Apple filed to drop a lawsuit against Nuvia co-founder Gerrard Williams III. The lawsuit accused the former chip architect of a breach of contract and poaching employees.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,045member
    You can seek employment anywhere you want, what you can’t do is use company time and hardware to do it, nor can you during working hours recruit other people within on company time. You would think that people earning so much money would have plenty of avenues outside of work to meet and talk to each other instead of being lazy and doing it on company time and material (hardware). They can’t plead, poverty.

    Also, this is a battle between the one percent and Apple will lose not because it’s wrong, but because the one centers are privileged, and they generally don’t like to put rules on themselves.

    Another thing you can’t do, or shouldn’t be able to do but once again, the one percenters have a different set of rules for themselves is steal material/info/documents, from the company you work for, but enforcing that has been so sloppy, among companies that most people think they can do it whenever they want. And usually the high-end employees get away with it. Once again, there are different rules for those that are high up on the hog.
    edited September 2023 killroyFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    Who is the one percent if not Apple?

    Is Puneet Kumar that wealthy?
  • Reply 3 of 6
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,045member
    mknelson said:
    Who is the one percent if not Apple?

    Is Puneet Kumar that wealthy?
    This is a battle between the one percent, operative word between. All of the participants the engineers, designers, programmers, judges, lawyers, and Apple easily fit into the one percent, and to join the one percent club you merely need to have a net worth of $10-11 million dollars or more. This illustrious group doesn’t like to be constrained when it comes to doing what they like, in comparison to those beneath them and at a subliminal level, they usually look out for each other when it comes to certain legal conflicts. Which is why Apple ultimately will lose the case.

    The phrase one percenter is merely, just another way of saying (white collar worker usually a knowledge worker or decision maker) upper class worker/citizen or company referring to (the people who run the company in question). All of the people involved with Nuvia certainly qualify.

    Note: to be part of the 2% you merely need to have a net worth of 2 1/2 million dollars.
    edited September 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    danox said:
    You can seek employment anywhere you want, what you can’t do is use company time and hardware to do it, nor can you during working hours recruit other people within on company time. You would think that people earning so much money would have plenty of avenues outside of work to meet and talk to each other instead of being lazy and doing it on company time and material (hardware). They can’t plead, poverty.

    Also, this is a battle between the one percent and Apple will lose not because it’s wrong, but because the one centers are privileged, and they generally don’t like to put rules on themselves.

    Another thing you can’t do, or shouldn’t be able to do but once again, the one percenters have a different set of rules for themselves is steal material/info/documents, from the company you work for, but enforcing that has been so sloppy, among companies that most people think they can do it whenever they want. And usually the high-end employees get away with it. Once again, there are different rules for those that are high up on the hog.
    With the work demands of Apple, I think they can plead time poverty. Apple expects a full commitment from everyone, and if you're working 60+ hours a week that very much restricts your recreational time - plus it can breed resentment, and a blurring of the mental line between official company time and "do my own thing" time.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    I don't know if it's state law or federal law, but I know that in Kentucky, non-competes are unenforceable; I would expect the much more liberal California to be the same.  Unless Apple and Google have somehow managed to get control of the state government and suppress those laws. /s

    Taking trade secrets with you is another thing entirely.
    edited September 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 6
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,045member
    danox said:
    You can seek employment anywhere you want, what you can’t do is use company time and hardware to do it, nor can you during working hours recruit other people within on company time. You would think that people earning so much money would have plenty of avenues outside of work to meet and talk to each other instead of being lazy and doing it on company time and material (hardware). They can’t plead, poverty.

    Also, this is a battle between the one percent and Apple will lose not because it’s wrong, but because the one centers are privileged, and they generally don’t like to put rules on themselves.

    Another thing you can’t do, or shouldn’t be able to do but once again, the one percenters have a different set of rules for themselves is steal material/info/documents, from the company you work for, but enforcing that has been so sloppy, among companies that most people think they can do it whenever they want. And usually the high-end employees get away with it. Once again, there are different rules for those that are high up on the hog.
    With the work demands of Apple, I think they can plead time poverty. Apple expects a full commitment from everyone, and if you're working 60+ hours a week that very much restricts your recreational time - plus it can breed resentment, and a blurring of the mental line between official company time and "do my own thing" time.
    Excuses, calling your wife or your kids on company time who hasn’t done that? But recruiting other people to join you on an outside venture that is just plain wrong, and there really isn’t any excuses, in the end aside from a few people at the top of the pyramid, making the deal, most the other people recruited usually end up losing, because once they transfer any of the knowledge they have to that new company they are usually fired or let go, why? because the new company has labeled them untrustworthy.
    watto_cobra
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