Apple calls out US court to dismiss A123 Systems’ employee poaching lawsuit

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Apple, on Tuesday, called out a US court to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by battery maker A123 systems over employee poaching, saying that A123’s charges are based on an “incorrect and unsupportable theory.”

Back in February, A123 filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Apple and five of its former employees. The lawsuit accused Cupertino of waging an aggressive campaign to poach employees from A123 to set up a battery division in June last year.

A123 claimed that the five employees named in the lawsuit were hired by Apple to perform the same functions, in violation of noncompete and nondisclosure agreements signed by the employees. It also accused one of the five defendants, Mujeeb Ijaz, of helping Cupertino recruit among its ranks.

In its filing on Tuesday, Apple argued that A123 did not present enough concrete evidence to move forward in court.
“Apple hiring five A123 employees, without more, does not indicate improper means or motive to support a claim for tortious interference or ‘raiding’,” Apple’s motion said.

The Cupertino said that nothing in the complaint suggests that the individual defendants are working on any product that would compete with any A123 products.

“Notably, the complaint admits that Apple and A123 do not compete: Apple is a consumer-electronics company that develops and purchases batteries for use in Apple products, whereas A123 manufactures and sells batteries for sale to commercial and industrial customers.”

Apple and A123 Systems representatives are yet to comment on the report.