A lithium-ion battery maker, A123 Systems, has filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of poaching top engineers to build its own battery division.
According to the lawsuit filed at a court in Massachusetts at least five employees have migrated to Apple or have been involved in a process to recruit others to join the iPhone maker.
A legal website law360.com cited the lawsuit which stated that Apple aggressively poached A123 engineers who were responsible for leading some of A123’s most critical projects.
The lawsuit also alleged that some employees went along with Apple to work on similar projects, violating A123’s agreements.
The company said that the after the departure of its lead engineers the company had to stop some of its important projects.
Lithium-ion battery technology made by A123 was designed to be used for electric cars, something that Apple is reportedly working on.
Previously, A123 also received $250m government grant but the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012.
The company also claimed that Apple’s efforts threaten A123’s own business due to lack of qualified resources.
A123 is not the only company Apple tried to hire employees from. The iPhone maker also reportedly poached from Daimler and Tesla.
The lawsuit said: "It appears that Apple, with the assistance of defendant Ijaz, is systematically hiring away A123’s high-tech PhD and engineering employees, thereby effectively shutting down various projects/programs at A123.
"They are doing so in an effort to support Apple’s apparent plans to establish a battery division that is similar if not identical to A123’s, in competition with A123."