Apple closes in on settlement over staff poaching lawsuit

Apple is on the verge of reaching an agreement with A123 Systems, the battery manufacturer that accused Cupertino of poaching staff members earlier this year (which first sparked off speculation about Apple’s electric car ambitions).

This all kicked off back in February, when A123 alleged that Apple had enticed five of its best engineers away, accusing Tim Cook’s firm of doing this because they’re “currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123”.

Then in March Apple asked for more time to respond to the suit, noting that a resolution was being hammered out in ongoing discussions between the two firms – and now those negotiations have apparently born fruit.

The Register reports that A123 has made a filing with the Massachusetts District Court stating that “the parties have reached an agreement, signed a term sheet, and are in the process of drafting a final settlement agreement.”

So it sounds like this one is finally going to be laid to rest, though exactly what the settlement will entail obviously isn’t clear (and probably won’t become clear, either).

Previous speculation has pointed to Apple having to pay out a considerable chunk of cash for the five staff, or a potential deal on buying A123 stock.