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Apple sued former developer of iPhone and iPad processor who established new company after retirement and raised 5.8 billion yen


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Apple sued former developer of iPhone and iPad processor who established new company after retirement and raised 5.8 billion yen

by succo

Gerrard Williams, a former chief architect in charge of iPhone / iPad microprocessor development, retired from Apple in February 2019, and with former Apple developersNuviaA chip development company was established. Nuvia successfully raised $ 53 million in November 2019AnnouncementHowever, it is reported that Apple, the former employee, sued Williams for "violating the employment contract".

Apple sues iPhone CPU design ace after he quits to run data-center chip upstart Nuvia • The Register
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/12/09/apple_nuvia_ceo_suit/

Apple Sues Ex-Chip Designer, Who Says Apple Spied On His Texts
https://gizmodo.com/apple-sues-former-chip-designer-who-says-apple-also-sp-1840339300

Williams has been involved in Apple's high-performance microprocessor development for nearly a decade, and was also the development leader for A-series chips on iPhones and iPads. Mr. Williams has newly established chip developer Nuvia with John Bruno and Manu Grati, who were enrolled in Apple at the same time. Mr. Bruno and Mr. Grati left Apple in 2017 and moved to Google, but he left Google in the first half of 2019.

Nuvia has already raised a total of $ 53 million from a number of investment companies, and the number of employees has exceeded 60 as of November 2019. The semiconductor field used to be a difficult field for start-up companies, but in recent years there have been a number of challenges such as the explosive increase in the amount of data handled and the physical limitations of computing speed. It seems to be.

Nuvia gathered human resources spanning the entire Silicon Valley centering on former Apple developers, but it turned out that Apple, who formerly worked for Williams, was suing Williams in August 2019 did. Apple claims that Williams, who founded a new company after retirement, violated the employment contract and loyalty obligations.

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Submitted to the Santa Clara High Court in California(PDF file)DocumentAccording to Apple, “ While working for Apple, Williams made preparations to hide his plan to start his own business and planned to pull out Apple colleagues even when a new company was established '' doing.

Apple also said that Williams decided to set up a new company in the hopes that Nuvia would be acquired from Apple in the future, “Unfortunately, Williams has taken the technology he worked on for Apple. "We were secretly considering opportunities to profit from Apple using technology rather than leveraging," Apple points out. Williams accused Apple of convincing that technology developed at Nuvia would be necessary for Apple, "Apple believed that there was no alternative to buying Nuvia."

Apple claims that Williams' actions violate employment contracts and loyalty obligations, and claims Nuvia's work injunction and damages. However, Williams submitted it to the court in November 2019(PDF file)DocumentAnd refutes Apple. Apple's claim has no legal basis and claims that the terms of the employment contract are not valid under California law.

Williams also argued that Apple's message that he had exchanged with other Apple employees and Nuvia founders as evidence of breach of faithful duty was "illegally collected by Apple." “Apple has not indicated that one of the employees has agreed to record the text message,” he defends that Apple's message has no evidence.

The Register asked Apple and Nuvia to comment on this matter, but there was no response at the time of writing the article. The public hearing will be held on January 21, 2020.

by Stuart Maxwell

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