Apple settles lawsuit that accused start-up from stealing its SoC trade secrets and engineers

The settlement will allow Apple to go through Rivos’ systems and recover any of its confidential information that it finds. Both firms also said in the filing that they “signed an agreement that potentially settles the case.” The filing also asks the Court to “continue to stay this action and vacate all pending deadlines through March 15, 2024, by which time the parties expect these activities to be completed.”
Apple originally sued Rivos back in 2022 and accused the Mountain View company of hiring away dozens of Apple engineers while using confidential Apple information to create “system-on-chip” (SoC) technology to compete with Apple. SoCs put multiple computer components in a single chip such as the central processing unit (CPU) and the graphic processing unit (GPU).

In its suit, Apple complained that it spent billions of dollars and more than 10 years of research to develop its SoC designs which Apple says have “revolutionized the personal and mobile computing worlds.” For its part, Rivos denied the allegations made by Apple and claimed that the iPhone manufacturer “sought to punish Rivos and any Apple employees who may seek to work there since the moment Apple learned about the promising startup.” Rivos countersued Apple last September accusing the tech giant of “unfair competition.”

In the original suit, Apple alleged that “Starting in June 2021, Rivos began a coordinated campaign to target Apple employees with access to Apple’s proprietary and trade secret information about Apple’s SoC designs.” Apple accused its former employees of using USB flash drives to transfer data to their personal laptops. Additionally (and quite ironically), some information was stolen from Apple through the use of Apple’s AirDrop feature which enabled files to be sent to the personal iPhones of employees who left Apple for Rivos.

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