Apple asks for dismissal of lawsuit from battery maker A123

Apple argues that it doesn't compete with A123 because their batteries end up in different products

The claims A123 Systems made against Apple in a civil lawsuit over employee hiring are speculative and the case should be dismissed, Apple argued in a motion filed Tuesday.

According to recent reports, Apple is developing an electric car and has hired staff with car engineering backgrounds. In June, Apple hired five engineers from A123, which manufactures lithium-ion batteries that can power large machines, such as automobiles.

A123 sued Apple and the five former employees in February, claiming beach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets, among other allegations. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

In Tuesday's filing, Apple said the batteries used by the two companies don't compete in the same markets. Apple's batteries end up in consumer products and the ones A123 develops are for commercial and industrial use.

A123 lacks evidence that Apple is entering the commercial battery market, the filing said. The battery maker reached this conclusion in part on an Apple job description that was found on the computer of a former A123 employee, Apple argued. The job posting didn't mention commercial batteries and instead said Apple was seeking people with at least five years of technical experience in computer and consumer electronics, according to the filing.

In short, A123 didn't offer enough proof that Apple poached its employees, Apple told the court.

"Apple hiring five A123 employees, without more, does not indicate improper means or motive to support a claim for tortuous interference or 'raiding.'"

In its motion, Apple said that A123 failed to offer evidence that its former employees possessed trade secrets or that such information was used to the battery maker's detriment.

Last week Apple requested an extension to reply to the lawsuit because the companies were looking to settle the case.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleA123 SystemsBatteries / fuel cellsCivil lawsuitslegalComponents

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?