Apple, A123 Systems close to a settlement over employee poaching issue

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Apple and electric battery maker A123 Systems are close to settle a federal lawsuit over employee poaching.

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.

Apple denied any wrongdoing in the lawsuit and dismissed A123’s claims as “premised on baseless conjecture.”
According to court documents filed Monday, both the parties have now reached an agreement to settle the case and are working out the final details.

A123 has requested a new extension to reply to Apple’s motion to move to the case from federal court in Massachusetts to one in northern California.

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

The case in U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts is A123 Systems LLC vs. Apple Inc et al., 15-10438.