Apple is accused of “intimidating” employees who want to resign! 

Take their signatures on agreements that prevent them from working in other places

Chip startup Rivos has filed a countersuit against Apple, claiming that the tech giant is forcing employees to sign restrictive agreements that prevent them from working elsewhere and is restricting up-and-coming companies that attract employees from Apple to work there. According to the American Bloomberg Agency.

 This lawsuit was filed by “Refus” and six former Apple employees, on Friday, September 22, in a federal court in San Jose, California, USA. The lawsuit is expected to escalate the commercial dispute that began when Apple filed a lawsuit against “Refus” and the employees. Ex who joined the startup last year.

In the context of responding to Apple’s lawsuit, “Refus” requested in its lawsuit a ruling that what it described as the “broad” agreements – regarding non-disclosure and non-solicitation after the end of the contract – that Apple concluded with its former employees are unenforceable.

Intimidation of employees

In its lawsuit, Revus said that Apple “fears any threat to its legitimate competition in the market, and seeks to intimidate employees who might dare to leave it and work for another company, and therefore it has resorted to trying to frustrate emerging companies with anti-competitive measures, such as the illegal restriction agreements it imposes on… To prevent its employees from working for other companies.

On the other hand, Apple filed a lawsuit accusing the emerging company and former employees of luring its engineers and enticing them to steal its proprietary information used in developing its chip designs. 

The dispute revolves around the “System on a Chip” technology, which works to combine all the computer’s multiple components into a small chip. Apple says it has invested billions of dollars in this technology to strengthen its electronic devices.

Intellectual property 

Refus claims that Apple’s intellectual property agreement, which Apple employees sign as part of their terms of employment, is “so broad that it includes anything an employee might (learn) while working for the company, whether trade secret or otherwise.”

Revus said in its counterclaim that the agreement includes a clause that prevents the solicitation of contractors related to the company, “a clause that Apple created and uses to intimidate employees and suppress competition.”

The “Refus” lawsuit also indicated that Apple allows employees to store work documents in their iCloud and iMessage accounts, but does not scan their data and messages when they leave work.

Rising companies

In 2019, Apple filed a lawsuit in California state court against Gerard Williams III, who worked there as a lead chip engineer and then left and co-founded the emerging chip company Nuvia, accusing him of stealing its trade secrets.

Williams protested Apple’s lawsuit in court, saying it wanted to “restrict the efforts of emerging companies to create new technologies and innovations and restrict the freedom of entrepreneurs who want to seek more fulfilling work.”

Apple asked Santa Clara County Superior Court to stay the lawsuit against Williams in April. However, “Refus” claims that Apple is targeting it with “the same tricks” that it used against “Novia” and “Williams.”

Last August, US District Judge Edward Davila ruled to dismiss Apple’s lawsuit against Refus over allegations of trade secret infringement but allowed it to file a revised complaint.


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