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Apple settles lawsuit over poaching

Apple Car Battery

This past February, Apple poached a number of high-profile battery engineers from a company called A123 Systems. What made the story so interesting is that Apple’s new hires were all Ph.D scientists involved in cutting edge and advanced battery research.

Even more intriguing was the fact that A123 Systems specialized in the development of high-performance and efficient lithium batteries for transportation-oriented initiatives. Naturally, many people viewed Apple’s hiring of A123 employees as even more proof that Apple was planning to develop and release a battery-powered car.

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Shortly after the news broke, A123 Systems sued Apple claiming that its employees, in working for Apple, were in violation of non-compete agreements they had signed.

Now comes word via Beta Boston that the lawsuit is on the cusp of being settled.

On Tuesday, a federal judge granted A123 more time to finalize the settlement with Apple. In a court filing, the two sides reported that they “have reached an agreement, signed a term sheet, and are in the process of drafting a final settlement agreement.”

Apple had hinted at a possible settlement in earlier court filings.

With A123’s lawsuit now out of the way, it’ll be interesting to see if the rumor mill regarding Apple’s alleged top-secret project kicks into higher gear. Recall that the Wall Street Journal earlier this year reported that Apple already has hundreds of employees working “toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle.” Bloomberg, meanwhile, has claimed that production on Apple’s mythical car may begin as early as 2020.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.