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Apple seeks settlement with battery maker after alleged poaching

Apple has asked for more time before responding to a lawsuit from A123 Systems, claiming a potential resolution of the matter is being discussed by both parties.

It follows a lawsuit pushed by A123 Systems claiming several key engineers were poached by Apple, in an “aggressive campaign” by the iPhone maker to perform testing and develop new systems for an electric car project.

A123 Systems develops energy storage systems and is one of the largest providers of lithium-ion hybrid systems, making it a prime target for electric car companies that want to invest in battery technology.

The settlement might include Apple paying a large chunk for the five acquired engineers, or look at a potential buyout of A123 System’s stock in exchange for silence.

Apple is clearly not looking to create a partnership with another company when it comes to energy storage or electric car batteries, instead working on its own for the Apple car.

Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk has also critisised Apple’s aggressive campaign to acquire talent, and how some of the Apple employees are defecting to Tesla to work in retail, HR and as system engineers for the Model S.

Apple’s arch-rival Samsung is also seeing a large campaign by Apple to acquire engineers with experience in electric car batteries. Samsung is one of BMW’s partners for the i3 and i8 electric car brands.

The electric car project is one of Apple’s biggest in the history of the company, grabbing thousands of new employees to work on the product. The car will also apparently feature a new self-driving platform, to compete with Google’s own platform.

As for the date, most analysts project Apple will launch the electric car in 2020, giving them a lot of time to work on the car and make sure everything is perfect before launch.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.