Apple wants suit from battery maker A123 dismissed or moved to California

Apple told the court that the witnesses and records in the case are in California

A bid by Apple to settle an employee poaching lawsuit with battery maker A123 Systems appears to have been unsuccessful, with the iPhone maker now asking the court to dismiss the suit or transfer it to its home turf in California.

A123 had in a suit filed in a federal court in Massachusetts charged Apple with poaching five of its employees to set up a new battery division, which was seen to give credence to reports that Apple was planning to get into the electric car business.

As the case arises out of Apple's employment of several former A123 Systems employees to work in California, all of the relevant witnesses and records are in that state, and the alleged wrongful acts also occurred there, Apple said in a filing Wednesday. Apple has asked that the case be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

A123 has its principal place of business in Michigan, not Massachusetts, according to the filing.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment on the status of the settlement talks. The company had filed a motion last week that asked the court for time until Wednesday to file its responses to A123's motions as it and the five engineers charged were exploring "a potential resolution of this matter." The new filing did not give an update on those talks.

On Tuesday, Apple asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to dismiss the A123 suit, claiming that the charges are based on an "incorrect and unsupportable theory." In its motion for transfer of the case to California, the company said that the court should transfer the case only if its motion to dismiss is denied in whole or in part.

The complaint admits that Apple and A123 do not compete, as Apple is a consumer electronics company that develops and purchases batteries for use in its products, while A123 manufactures and sells batteries to commercial and industrial customers, according to the Tuesday filing.

"The simple fact Mr. Ijaz allegedly contacted a third party who collaborated with A123, without more, is far from enough to support the broad conclusion that a consumer electronics company is entering into the market to sell commercial or industrial batteries," said Apple while questioning A123's claim that the employees had breached the non-compete provisions of their contracts.

The former employee Mujeeb Ijaz was charged in A123's complaint with trying to solicit a partner of A123, called SiNode Systems, on behalf of Apple.

Apple's possible entry into electric cars came up again during its shareholder meeting on Tuesday. Quite frankly, Id like to see you guys buy Tesla, an investor told Apple CEO Tim Cook, according to reports. The executive said that Apple had no relationship with the electric car company, though he would have liked it to use its CarPlay dashboard interface technology for the iPhone.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags ApplelegalComponentsBatteries / fuel cellsA123 Systems

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

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?