Speculation surrounding Apple’s automotive initiative has quieted, but we’ve got new reason to think something is afoot. Today, Apple has agreed to settle a lawsuit with A123, an electric car battery maker who accused Apple of poaching talent. Specifically, Apple is said to have enticed engineers at A123 away to build some type of large scale battery lab. The suit, filed in February, has been routinely rebuffed by Apple. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and both parties are said to be hammering out the details of a settlement.
According to A123, Apple began aggressively poaching their top-tier talent as early as June 2014. Those engineers were leading some of A123’s more ambitious and critical projects.
A month after the case was brought forth, Apple attempted to have it dismissed based on what they claim were A123’s “theory” and “conclusions” being unfounded and weak. According to The Wall Street Journal, both sides begun settlement discussions the same month.
A123’s claim is that Apple’s poaching of engineers has damaged their business, since the projects they were leading had to be shut down as similarly talented and knowledgable engineers were hard to come by.
While it’s not known why Apple would steal away engineers focussed on battery technology, the widespread assumption is that they’re working on some sort of automotive project. The clandestine ‘Project Titan’ is believed to be that project, though we still don’t know much about it.
Source: The Wall Street Journal