Lawsuit Alleges Apple Poached Car Battery Manufacturer’s Engineers

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Apple is facing a lawsuit for allegedly poaching employees from car battery manufacturer A123 Systems amid reports the tech giant has an electric vehicle in the works.The lawsuit, which was reported by legal news website Law360, follows reports Apple could be looking to branch out into the auto industry, working towards development of a vehicle.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported Apple has seven hundred employees working on an Apple-branded vehicle, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Reuters has reported the lawsuit states that around June 2014 Apple began aggressively poaching A123 engineers in charge of some of the company’s most critical projects, with A123 stating in a filing earlier this month in the Massachusetts federal court that the engineers left to pursue similar programs at Apple, in violation of their employment agreements.

A123 is also suing five former employees, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit seemingly lends further substance to suggestions Apple is looking at the development of a vehicle.

Should the project come to fruition, it would represent a significant move by Apple into an industry in which the integration of consumer tech is playing a increasing important role.

Reuters had previously reported that Apple is working on a self-driving electric vehicle, citing a senior auto industry source familiar with the discussions.

“Fully automated driving is an evolution – car makers will slowly build the market for autonomous cars by first releasing connected and partially automated cars,” Reuters reported the source as stating.

“Apple is interested in all the potential ways you can evolve the car; that includes autonomous driving.”

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