Apple Moves to Dismiss A123's Employee Poaching Lawsuit

Apple filed a motion on Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit from A123 Systems that claims the iPhone and iPad maker essentially raided its company for employees, forcing it to shut down several projects. The employees came from A123's advanced battery development teams, and the company claims the hires violate non-compete and non-disclosure contracts.

Apple asks court to dismiss A123 Systems' lawsuit over hiring away key employeesApple asks court to dismiss A123 Systems' lawsuit over hiring away key employees

The motion for dismissal argued A123 was offering up a case that's too speculative, and that the company didn't offer up enough evidence to back up the claims, according to Reuters. "Apple hiring five A123 employees, without more, does not indicate improper means or motive to support a claim for tortious interference or 'raiding,'" Apple said in its filing.

Apple hired five of A123's employees over several months, starting with CFO Mujeeb Ijaz. A123 said Apple's hirings violate work contracts it had with the people, and added that key projects were cancelled because there wasn't anyone with the proper skills to keep them going once the workers left.

A123 Systems designs batteries for mobile devices and vehicles, and it looks like the staff Apple hired away have expertise in car battery design. The projects they were working on at A123 are a secret, but the company did say they were revolutionary.

It's likely A123's former employees are working on Apple's electric car project, although the company isn't saying what they're doing, or confirming that the car design is happening. Apple also said A123 didn't present any evidence to show the people named in its lawsuit are working on anything that competes with their former employer.

Apple and A123 have been negotiating in an effort to reach an out of court settlement. The status of those talks is under wraps, and neither company is making any public statement.