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Apple sued for poaching engineers in the car battery field

by Sean P. Aune | February 19, 2015February 19, 2015 4:45 pm PDT

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The rumors surrounding Apple building a car got another shot in the arm today thanks to a lawsuit over the poaching of employees.

A123 Systems, a company involved in the manufacturing of electric car batteries has filed a lawsuit against Apple over the alleged poaching of some of its employees. According to a recently filed lawsuit, Apple began approaching A123 employees around June 2014, with a focus on engineers working on some of the company’s most critical projects. When the employees did depart they violated their agreements with their now former employer by engaging in programs with a similar focus.

The lawsuit clearly states, “Apple is currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123.” While what exactly these batteries are that Apple is working on is not made clear in the lawsuit, but seeing as A123 focuses on lithium-ion batteries meant for larger machines, it more than likely doesn’t have anything to do with the iPhone.

According to the filing, one of the five defendants, Mujeeb Ijaz, is accused of assisting Apple with luring away more of his fellow employees from A123 after having joined the company himself. “It appears that Apple, with the assistance of defendant Ijaz, is systematically hiring away A123’s high-tech PhD and engineering employees, thereby effectively shutting down various projects/programs at A123,” stated the filing. It also claims that Ijaz went on to contact engineers at other companies such as LG Chem Ltd, Samsung SDI Co Ltd, Panasonic Corp, Toshiba Corp and Johnson Controls Inc to recruit them as well for this secretive new project.

While all of this may not be directly connected to the highly rumored car project, when it is added in with the rumors about all of the recent hiring the company has been doing, it doesn’t take you very long to reach that conclusion.

New reports say Apple is planning to produce its own car by 2020, and it sounds like all the pieces are falling in to place for it to do just that.

The Guardian

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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