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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Apple sued for poaching car battery specialists, adding fuel to iCar rumors


A new lawsuit against Apple may add fuel to rumors that the tech giant is working on a car.

A123 Systems,
a maker of lithium batteries for electric cars, recently filed a
lawsuit against Apple alleging that the Cupertino company has been
"systematically" poaching its employees to establish a rival battery

In the lawsuit, A123 identifies multiple current and former
employees, including CTO Mujeeb Ijaz, who it claims are working with
Apple to hire away talent despite having previously signed
non-solicitation agreements.

"It appears that Apple, with the assistance of defendant Ijaz, is
systematically hiring away A123’s high tech Ph.D and engineering
employees, thereby effectively shutting down various projects/programs
at A123," according to a copy
of the lawsuit. "They are doing so in an effort to support Apple’s
apparent plans to establish a battery division that is similar if not
identical to A123’s."

Reps for Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

A cursory LinkedIn search reveals more than half a dozen employees
currently at Apple who previously held positions at A123. At least two
of those employees list their title as "cell development engineer,"
hinting at work on battery technology.

The fact that Apple is working on advanced battery technologies
certainly doesn't solely point to a car. This is a technology company
after all. However, the timing of the lawsuit happens to coincide with
multiple reports that Apple has its eye on the road.

The Wall Street Journal reported late last week that Apple has a team of hundreds of employees working on a secret project to build a branded electric car.

Apple sued for poaching car battery specialists, adding fuel to iCar rumors

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