Apple Reaches Settlement With EV Battery Maker A123 Systems Over Poaching Lawsuit

May 14, 2015 11:54 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Apple is close to a deal with battery maker A123 Systems to end a lawsuit that claimed the iPhone maker poached a number of important battery engineers and chemists from the company.

A123 said that both parties have "reached an agreement, signed a term sheet and are in the process of drafting a final settlement agreement" according to The Wall-Street Journal, citing a filing in U.S. District Court in Boston.

The battery maker sued Apple and a number of former employees earlier this year claiming that five employees violated their contracts when they left to go work for the Cupertino-based company.

The lawsuit said that the former employees were hired by Apple to work on similar projects and one employee even helped Apple poach others away from A123 Systems.

Settlement talks began in early March, according to The Wall-Street Journal.

Rumor has it that Apple has hired hundreds of new employees over the last year or so to work on a self-driving electric vehicle project currently called "Titan." The project was even referenced by A123 in its original lawsuit against Apple.

Company CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives have not said a word about the project yet as they could decide to scrap the plan altogether. It usually takes automakers at least five years to make a car, so we might not know officially for another 4-5 years if Apple is up to something.

A123 has been selling off its assets as of late after going bankrupt in 2012, according to Reuters. The company, which specializes in batteries for electric cars, went public in 2009 and is backed by a huge $249 million grant provided by the U.S. government.

The case is A123 Systems Inc. v. Apple Inc., 15-cv-10438, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

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