A123 Systems, Apple Reach Settlement and Dismiss Lawsuit

A123 Systems has agreed to dismiss a lawsuit it filed against Apple for allegedly “poaching” the electric-car battery maker’s employees. The companies have reached a confidential settlement agreement, according to a document filed Monday in Massachusetts district court.

No terms of the settlement were released in the court documents. A123’s attorney Michael Rosen of Foley Hoag declined to comment. Apple’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

The conflict began in February, when A123 filed the suit against Apple and five former employees that the electronics giant hired. A123 accused Apple of “raiding” its employees, and feared the former A123 workers would reveal the battery maker’s trade secrets to Apple, which A123 believed was building a competing car battery business, according to the claim.

Apple contested the validity of the lawsuit, requesting it be dismissed in March. A123 said in mid-May that the companies had reached an agreement, signed a term sheet, and were drafting a final settlement.

A123 has had a turbulent history. Founded in 2001, the company had the country’s largest IPO in 2009 at $371 million. By 2012, it found itself in bankruptcy and restructuring. Chinese multinational Wanxiang took over the business in 2013.

A123 System lists its corporate headquarters in Livonia, MI. A123 Venture Technologies, the division that the company says was the target of Apple’s alleged raiding, is located in Waltham, MA.

Apple A123 Systems Dismissal

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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