Apple to settle trade secrets lawsuit with chip startup Rivos

Apple to settle trade secrets lawsuit with chip startup Rivos

Apple has opted to settle with the chip startup Rivos, marking the conclusion of a legal battle that began two years ago when Apple first sued Rivos for alleged theft of trade secrets. As per a filing released on Friday, both Rivos and Apple have informed a judge of their intention to finalize the settlement by March 15.

The lawsuit, initiated by Apple in May 2022, accused the “stealth-mode” startup Rivos of luring away engineers who had access to confidential company information. Apple’s complaint asserted that former employees, at the behest of Rivos, unlawfully acquired proprietary data during the recruitment process.

According to Apple’s allegations, Rivos launched a targeted campaign in June 2021 to attract Apple employees with knowledge of sensitive System-on-a-Chip (SoC) designs, resulting in the misappropriation of significant volumes of confidential information.

In response, Rivos filed a counter lawsuit against Apple in September 2023, alleging that Apple resorted to intimidation and other tactics to dissuade its engineers from departing.

In a filing highlighted by Bloomberg on Friday, both Apple and Rivos disclosed their intention to settle the legal dispute and are currently in the process of finalizing their agreement. The settlement terms include measures for the remediation of Apple’s confidential information, involving a forensic examination of Rivos’ systems and related activities.

The resolution of this lawsuit follows Apple’s decision in April 2023 to quietly withdraw a separate lawsuit against former executive Gerard Williams III. Williams, considered instrumental in the development of Apple’s high-performance A-series and M-series Apple Silicon chips, departed Apple in 2019 to establish the server chip startup Nuvia, which was subsequently acquired by Qualcomm in 2021.