Apple and Rivos Reach Agreement in Trade Secrets Lawsuit

Apple and Rivos Reach Agreement in Trade Secrets Lawsuit

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In News, Published On
February 11, 2024

In a groundbreaking development, Apple and startup Rivos have taken a significant step towards resolving a contentious lawsuit centered on trade secret theft related to computer-chip technology. According to a joint court filing on Friday in California federal court, the companies have disclosed that they’ve entered into an agreement aimed at potentially settling the case.

The agreement allows Apple the opportunity to examine Rivos’ systems thoroughly and recover any confidential information that may have been misappropriated. This move marks a pivotal moment in the legal battle that began when Apple sued the secretive startup in 2022, alleging that Rivos had poached numerous engineers and utilized Apple’s proprietary information to develop competing “system-on-chip” (SoC) technology.

SoCs, which integrate multiple computer components into a single chip, including central processing units and graphic processing units, represent a cornerstone of modern computing innovation. Apple emphasized in its lawsuit the extensive investment of billions of dollars and over a decade of research dedicated to its SoC designs, which have played a transformative role in both personal and mobile computing landscapes.

Rivos, headquartered in Mountain View, California, vehemently denied Apple’s allegations, asserting that Apple had pursued a vindictive course against the startup and any former employees who chose to join Rivos. Last September, Rivos retaliated by filing a countersuit against Apple, alleging unfair competition.

This recent development comes on the heels of Apple’s separate settlement last month with six former employees who departed the company to join Rivos. As the legal proceedings continue to unfold, the tech industry watches closely, anticipating the implications of this high-profile dispute resolution on future intellectual property protections and competitive dynamics within the sector.

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