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Apple On The Verge Of Settlement With Battery Manufacturer A123 in Poaching Lawsuit

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A three month old lawsuit involving Apple Inc and A123, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer is about to be settled if reports from Reuters are to be believed.

The two companies have been in settlement talks since March as per the court filings and on Tuesday the two sides reported in a court filing that they “have reached an agreement, signed a term sheet and are in process of drafting a final settlement agreement. “

Earlier this year, in February, A123 Systems sued Apple Inc in Massachusetts state court alleging that it had hired its top employees who interestingly were all PhD scientists working on cutting edge battery research and had violated their agreement with A123 to join Apple to work on similar technologies with Apple.

They also claimed that this forced them to shut their own major projects owing to their inability to replace the expertise of poached engineers, further enhancing their troubles as they had filed bankruptcy in 2013 despite being once backed up by $250 million from US Department of Energy.

What was even more interesting was that A123 Systems were known for their battery innovation and research especially for electric vehicles and transport initiatives, leading to the widespread rumors that Apple was on its way to develop its own battery operated car or an electric vehicle.

The allegations were however denied by Apple who requested the lawsuit to be transferred to Federal court and later asked the court to throw it out, saying it was “solely on labels and conclusions” that weave “an elaborate but ultimately incorrect and unsupportable theory”.

Coincidently, WSJ in February this year had reported that Apple already has hundreds of employees working “toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle” while Bloomberg also claimed that production of Apple’s mythical car may begin as early as 2020. Taking into account those reports and the recent developments regarding settlement with A123 outside court, we certainly cannot help wondering if would really get to see an iCar by Apple on the likes of Tesla’s electric cars and Google car.


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