The Cupertino-based technology giant Apple Inc., has moved to propose the dismissal of a civil lawsuit initiated by Chinese-owned battery maker A123 Systems – with the latter claiming Apple poached its engineers to work on the secretive electric car project.
According to a court filling, Apple called the claims made by A123 were too speculative – the battery maker claimed the technology giant has started to explore the development and production of an electric car and has been hiring people with expertise in the automotive field – since June 2014 Apple had aggressively approached A123 engineers that have knowledge of the company’s crucial projects. While the latest filling did not provide any update, it’s known that last week Apple asked an extension on the lawsuit as the two companies were negotiating a settlement. A123 moved last month to file a lawsuit against Apple and five of its former employees – including for alleged breach of confidentiality contracts.
A123 was one of the pioneering startups that focused on industrial lithium-ion battery making, backed a few years ago by a $249 million U.S. government grant as it moved to provide the necessary packs to upcoming carmaker Fisker. Both companies have filed for bankruptcy back in 2012 and A123 has been selling off its assets, including to Chinese parts maker Wanxiang – the current owner of the Fisker brand. Apple has been in turn rumored to have started late last year on a secretive project involving the development of an electric car – to reach the market within five years.