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Apple files suit against one of the founders of chip design startup Nuvia

One of the founders of Nuvia Inc. is the target of a lawsuit filed by Apple. (Image via Nuvia)
One of the founders of Nuvia Inc. is the target of a lawsuit filed by Apple. (Image via Nuvia)
Apple is suing Gerard Williams III, one of the founders of Nuvia, for breaching an intellectual property contract and soliciting Apple employees to leave Apple and work at Nuvia. Williams denies that he actively recruited Apple employees and claims that Apple intruded on his privacy by reading through his personal text messages.
Sam Medley,

Nuvia, a new chip designer founded by three former Apple Executives, has already hit its first roadbloc: a lawsuit from one of the biggest companies in the world.

Nuvia's three founders each had a hand in designing chips for Apple, including the ones that power the latest iPhones. Apple hasn’t taken too kindly to its former employees evolving into contemporary competitors, however; the Colossus of Cupertino is suing one of Nuvia’s founders, Gerard Williams III.

Williams left Apple in February of 2019 with two other Apple executives to found Nuvia Inc. Apple apparently frowns upon leaving its walled garden to compete against its silicon business; Williams found himself the target of a lawsuit filed by Apple in August. Apple claims that Williams breached his employment contract by pursuing a business that is “competitive with or directly related to Apple’s business or products,” according to legal documents. Apple has also claimed that Williams solicited other Apple employees to leave the company and follow him to Nuvia.

Williams is biting back. He claims that Apple has engaged in a “stunning and disquieting invasion of privacy” by reading his personal and private text messages. Williams also denied directly soliciting other Apple employees for opportunities at Nuvia, stating that in “Apple’s theory, if one Apple employee speaks to (or texts) another employee conveying criticisms of Apple’s strategies or decisions, that discussion is itself a purportedly unlawful ‘solicitation’ to leave Apple.”

Williams is trying to get the case thrown out. A hearing scheduled for January 21, 2020, will decide whether Apple’s complaints have any merit.

What do you think? Is Apple desperately trying to cut the knees from a competitor, or is Williams in the wrong? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1171 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 12 > Apple files suit against one of the founders of chip design startup Nuvia
Sam Medley, 2019-12-10 (Update: 2019-12-10)