Apple Sued For Poaching Engineers From Battery Maker A123

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Shankovich

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Why sue apple for it? Unless the engineer were under contract, they're free to go work for whoever they want. Sucks for your company but if someone came and gave me a great offer, I'd take it.
 

gggplaya

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It's illegal to proactively headhunt like that. But if apple posting job openings with bigger salaries, and the engineers applied and were hired, then it's not apples fault, maybe A123 should pay them more.
 

zero messiah

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iCar, iTruck, ibike, this would take pretension to a whole new level. What we need is a DIY electric car. C'mon Newegg, daddy needs a new frame and some lug nuts.
 

bit_user

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Good point. If you thought Prius drivers were smug, wait 'till the iCar hits the streets!

Wow, if you want to drive an electric kit car, more power to you. Literally, perhaps. Sounds like a death trap, IMO.

It would probably be full of rattles, have no accessories, and the interior would suck. And the worst part is that it would probably cost nearly as much as a comparable model from the big automakers. No thanks.
 

ASmith426

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It would be nice to know exactly why A123 is sueing Apple. Perhaps the Engineers were offered better working conditions to further expand, and test the limits of, their ideas (at Apple). Employee have the right to choose where they work, so i f that is the real reason, I see that going nowhere.
Did the employees violate nondisclosure agreements, and Apple is capitalizing on the information? I could see a viable lawsuit from that, especially if many of the "lead engineers" left in a close timeframe.
 
G

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There is no slavery in this country. People are free to work where they want. However, companies can't just gut a company by hiring the same team of another company and then reproducing the structure. It's not the engineers that are being sued, it's the corporation. They'll have to justify how they came to know the engineers, how they selected them.

Or else, it would be too easy to hire the lead engineer, then ask him which are the best employees at the other company, and hire those specifically. Yeah, that's illegal.
 

zfreak280

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ASmith426,

You would think A123 Systems would have paid their employees better considering the BILLIONS of US tax payer dollars that went into that failed company and WAS NEVER REPAID. I think this lawsuit should be thrown out and the US should file criminal charges against the previous CEOs of A123 systems.
 

f-14

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A123's fault for not having a non compete employee agreement with a resulting 1 million dollar fine per employee on the company that hires them in addition to the employee wage garnishment of 95% of their payment from their competing employer.
 
i don't mind any company trying to hire people, BUT, when employees gets hired by other companies, don't get angry.
apple don't like it when other companies try to hire apple employees but they do the same thing
 

back_by_demand

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Apple's track record over the years is diabolical. They have basically stolen every profitable idea, stepping over the corpses of other companies as they went. Stealing the Apple logo from the Beatles, the iPod menu from Creative, the mouse and GUI from Xerox, the iPhone name from Cisco - why am I not shocked in the slightest? I'm not angry, or surprised, just sad that now Jobs isn't around the dirty tactics haven't abated.
 

back_by_demand

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Apple's track record over the years is diabolical. They have basically stolen every profitable idea, stepping over the corpses of other companies as they went. Stealing the Apple logo from the Beatles, the iPod menu from Creative, the mouse and GUI from Xerox, the iPhone name from Cisco - why am I not shocked in the slightest? I'm not angry, or surprised, just sad that now Jobs isn't around the dirty tactics haven't abated.
 

zodiacfml

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Good move. I was thinking they could accelerate battery technology with their big pile of cash. Building an electric car is not far off also since they have to expand in the future. Apple's business strategy is take existing products and improve upon it.

They probably looking at Tesla now and see if they can drastically make a car market for themselves (Apple). Apple would need to move fast though as Tesla is building a huge battery plant to improve battery costs, the only impediment to electric cars for the masses.

Now that I mentioned it, I realized there's a lot to improve in a passenger car. There's big chance for Apple to expand in that industry.
 

scannall

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A123's fault for not having a non compete employee agreement with a resulting 1 million dollar fine per employee on the company that hires them in addition to the employee wage garnishment of 95% of their payment from their competing employer.
Non compete agreements are invalid in both Michigan and California. A123 is a failing company, selling off assets from a bankruptcy. So when Apple offers them more money and a signing bonus? Yeah, you take the deal, Better money, better weather and a company that isn't going under.
 

brucek2

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How about instead of paying lawyers to sue Apple, they pay the employees what they are worth so they wanted to stay where they were?

All of our economic systems are built on markets being free enough to find the right price for the right product or service. I see no reason to prevent these engineers from receiving an offer they found more compelling, or punishing the employer who wanted to give it to them.
 

er0shima

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I can see it now,

User: Dear apple, I cannot turn on the winshield wipers during a sunny day even after moving the wipers stick. I happened to get the windshield dirty on a road trip and needed to get it clean.

Apple: Thanks for contacting Apple Car support. We are very sorry to inform you but you are using your car's wipers wrong. In order for the car to enable wiper's function, you must be in a rainy condition. Even if the wipers have a water dispenser, the water will not be sprayed out due to undetected humid condition.

Have a nice day...
 

bit_user

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There is such a thing as a non-compete agreement that companies can force employees to sign, although they're illegal in California.

 

bit_user

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It gets kinda fuzzy when you hire a significant chunk of a team away from another company. At that point, Apple isn't simply hiring engineers that happen to have a particular expertise, they're acquiring some amount of IP at a discount price (and they're paying it to the engineers, rather than the investors of the victimized company, who are the rightful owners of the IP).

What they should have just done is bought A123, but if it really is in deep debt, I guess they would rather not take than onto their books. Perhaps they even offered to buy the IP and A123 refused. That would make these hires very suspicious.
 

mitchellvii7

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To the guy who said, "it's illegal to proactively headhunt like this," sorry bro but you have NO IDEA what you are talking about. I've been an Executive Recruiter for 30 years and THIS is what we do. Completely 100% legal. This lawsuit has no chance since these all employees, not slaves (assuming they were not under contract).
 

mitchellvii7

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Dude, what? It is NOT illegal to pro-actively recruit talent. THAT is what headhunters do! I know, I've been one for 30 years. Unless these guys were under contract or stole trade secrets A123 can't do a thing. They aren't slaves.
 

mitchellvii7

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This is America and these are employees not slaves. If A123 wants to keep their people from being poached they should be a better company.
 

bit_user

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I'm no expert on business law, but the issue of non-compete agreements has been raised several times, in this thread. There's also the fact that A123 probably wouldn't be trying to sue Apple, unless it thought it had a reasonable case, and I've even witnessed first-hand a case where my employer threatened to sue a company that several employees went to. It wasn't even a competitor. The other company seemed to take the threat seriously, since it agreed not to hire any more of my coworkers.

So, I'd say that, when it comes to legal matters, it doesn't help to assert what you idealistically wish to be the case. Before you make any claims (or especially, take any action), first do a bit of research.
 

bit_user

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Oh man, I wouldn't like to hit a pothole in that thing. Looks like it'd be pretty bone-jarring.

Then, let's talk safety. A spacious cabin is not only more comfortable, it's also necessary to have some room for side-curtain airbags to deploy. And, you'd need some beams to prevent the cabin from being penetrated during side-impacts. So, instead of having the body curve inward, between the front and rear axles, they'd probably make it straight. And there should either be an arch to add protection in case of rollover, or a convertible-style rollbar, either of which would interrupt the smooth, flowing look of the canopy.

With that fix and some more suspension travel, it's suddenly looking much more conventional and less special. These concept sketches are fun to look at, but often totally impractical, when you just think about why cars look the way they do.
 
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