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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.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.