Apple sued former developer of iPhone and iPad processor who established new company after retirement and raised 5.8 billion yen
Gerrard Williams, former chief architect responsible for the development of the iPhone / iPad microprocessor, retired from Apple in February 2019 and founded a chip development company called Nuvia with former Apple developers. Nuvia announced that it has successfully raised $ 53 million in November 2019, but Apple, the former employer, sued Williams as `` violating the employment contract '' It is reported.
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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.
According to a document (PDF file) filed in the Santa Clara High Court in California, Apple said, `` While working for Apple, Williams is preparing to hide his plan to start his own business, 'We made a plan to pull out Apple colleagues even when a new company was established.'
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. '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 countered Apple in a document (PDF file) submitted to the court in November 2019. 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 he exchanged with other Apple employees and founders of Nuvia as evidence of breach of loyalty 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.