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Apple crumbles over chip theft row

by on12 February 2024

All Apple sauce with lashings of cowardly custard  

Apple has backed down from its legal battle with startup Rivos, after accusing the firm of poaching its staff and nicking its secrets.

The lawsuit, filed by Apple in 2022, claimed that Rivos had hired more than 40 former Apple workers to work on rival system-on-a-chip technology, according to Reuters. It also alleged that at least two ex-Apple engineers had taken gigabytes of confidential information with them to Rivos.

Bloomberg reported that the two companies had told a judge that they had "signed an agreement that potentially settles the case".

"The agreement provides for remediation of Apple confidential information based on a forensic examination of Rivos systems and other activities," according to the filing in federal court in San Jose, California. "The parties currently are working through that process."

Apple also accused the defendant of instructing the employees it hired away to steal presentations and other proprietary information for unreleased iPhone chip designs that cost billions of euro to develop.

Rivos countersued Apple last year, accusing the bigger company of restricting employees' ability to work elsewhere and of stifling emerging startups' growth by using anticompetitive measures.

The court dismissed Apple's trade secret claims against Rivos in April 2023, though the company was allowed to file a revised complaint. Apple already settled with its six former employees who filed a countersuit against the iPhonemaker along with Rivos after they dropped their claims against each other last month.

Both companies are now asking the court to put their cases on hold until March 15, when they expect the settlement to be completed.

Last modified on 12 February 2024
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