Apple Seeks To Dismiss A123 Poaching Lawsuit

Tech giant Apple is asking the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts to dismiss battery maker A123's lawsuit because it doesn't offer enough evidence that Apple is poaching A123's employees to develop competing technologies, according to a motion for dismissal filed Tuesday.

The lawsuit by Michigan-based A123 is seeking a restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent Apple and a former A123 employee from recruiting other employees to leave the battery firm. The complaint claims that Apple has enticed five top-level scientists, engineers and technical managers from the firm since June.

All of the former A123 employees are experts in lithium-ion battery technologies, which has led to speculation that Apple is interested in developing electric and/or self-driving cars. However, "nothing in the complaint suggests that the individual defendants are working on any product that would compete with any A123 products," Apple's motion for dismissal noted.

'This is Where Things are Headed'

A123's dispute with Apple illustrates the fast-changing and increasingly competitive environment for electric-car and self-driving car research and development. As Bloomberg reported in February, Elon Musk's innovative car firm, Tesla, has "hired at least 150 former Apple employees" with a wide range of skills.

The flow of talent between automakers and software/tech companies isn't unexpected as cars become increasingly more advanced, computerized and even autonomous.

"I think everybody is all in because nobody wants to get left behind," writer/director Chris Paine told us. "Everybody understands this is where things are headed."

Paine, who has written and directed such documentaries as, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and "Revenge of the Electric Car," said Musk's Tesla got a head start with the new generation of electric cars, but that both traditional automakers and Silicon Valley firms now see the opportunities in advanced vehicle development.

"Everybody wants what Tesla has captured," Paine said. Beyond being...

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