Apple Inc. (AAPL) Caught-Up in Poaching Imbroglio, Again

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in yet another legal tussle over the hiring of new battery experts.
A123 Systems, a specialized battery maker, alleges that Apple Inc. has hired 5 of its employees.

The company alleged that three of them – Michael Erickson, Indrajeet Thorat and Depeng Wang were PhD holders and heads of projects focused on development of new battery technology at A123 Systems.

Another employee, Mujeeb Ijaz was head of the System Venture Technologies Division and was in charge of the work of four of other employees Apple Inc. had lured. A fifth employee Don Dafoe, too figures in the list of employees who switched to Apple Inc., despite being under agreement with A123 Systems not to join competitors.

A123 Systems Back Allegation with Evidence

When A123 Systems reviewed the ex-employees email trials, on work computers, between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Talent Acquisition Staff as well as the named employees, leading to the legal filing of poaching case against Apple Inc..

A123 Systems decries that the exit of these five employees, had derailed the projects they were heading. The company is unable to find replacements for them, due to lack of qualifications. The projects are as good as a ‘dead in the water,’ according to A123 Systems.

Given the repercussions of their exit, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has filed a lawsuit not only against the five of the employees, but against Apple Inc. as well. A123 Systems has accused its former employees of being breach of their contracts that disallowed them from joining competitors. It has also accused Apple Inc. of ‘unfair competition’ and a bevy of other related charges.

This is the second such recent incident, where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is alleged to have poached expert talent. Previously, the smartphone maker, poised to entry new technology horizons with electric cars, was accused of poaching employees from electric car maker Tesla as well.

As investigations begin, the validity of the non-compete contract of the employees is to be ascertained. Again, it needs to be seen if the judge will perceive Apple Inc. a competitor to A123 Systems, an established ‘advanced energy solutions.’