The company claimed that Rivos engaged in the recruitment of its employees and illicitly obtained information related to its chip designs.

Apple and Rivos, the Mountain View startup embroiled in a legal battle with Apple since 2022, appear to be moving towards a potential settlement in their dispute over alleged employee poaching and trade secret theft. According to recent filings submitted to the US District Court for the Northern District of California, both companies have signed an agreement that holds the promise of resolving the ongoing case. This proposed settlement would grant Apple the authority to conduct a comprehensive forensic examination of Rivos’ systems and overall business activities.

The genesis of the legal dispute dates back to Apple’s accusations that Rivos orchestrated a systematic and coordinated campaign aimed at recruiting employees from Apple’s chip design division. Apple went on to assert that these recruited employees were allegedly instructed by Rivos to misappropriate presentations and other confidential information pertaining to unreleased iPhone chip designs, a development effort that incurred significant financial investment.

In response to Apple’s legal action, Rivos counterclaimed, leveling accusations against Apple for restricting employee mobility and impeding the growth of emerging startups through what it deemed anticompetitive measures. This countersuit added a layer of complexity to an already intricate legal tussle between the tech giant and the startup.

The legal trajectory took an interesting turn in April 2023 when the court dismissed Apple’s trade secret claims against Rivos, although Apple was granted the opportunity to submit a revised complaint. This decision marked a pivotal moment in the proceedings, shaping the subsequent course of the legal dispute between the two entities.

Notably, Apple recently reached settlements with six former employees who, along with Rivos, had previously countersued Apple. These former employees dropped their claims against each other, contributing to a series of recent developments that have potentially paved the way for a broader resolution.

As both Apple and Rivos seek to bring this chapter to a close, they are jointly requesting the court to place their cases on hold until March 15. This timeframe aligns with their anticipated completion of the settlement process, underscoring the potential significance of the resolution in what has been a contentious and closely-watched legal battle.

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