Apple Drops Lawsuit Against Former Executive Accusing Company of Spying | Engadget

Apple Drops Lawsuit Against Former Executive Accusing Company of Spying |  Engadget

After more than three years of litigation, Apple has quietly dropped its lawsuit against Gerard Williams III, the former chip executive the company has accused of poaching employees. Williams works for Apple and leads the development of some of its most important chips – including the , the first 64-bit processor for mobile devices.

In 2019, Williams left Apple to co-found Nuvia, a chip design company. When the tech giant first sued Williams, it accused him of “secretly” founding Nuvia and recruiting talent for its startup while still an Apple employee. Williams denied Apple’s claims and blamed the company.

As , Apple filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against Williams earlier this week. The document does not explain why the company dropped the case. However, it says Apple did so “with prejudice,” meaning it can’t bring the same lawsuit against Williams again. It also indicates that the two sides have come to an agreement. Apple did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment.

In the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s dismissal motion, court documents show that Apple requested Judge Sunil Kulkarni’s dismissal. Around March 17, 2023, the company added two attorneys from the law firm to the team litigating its case against Williams. On March 28, Judge Sunil Kulkarni filed a brief disclosure, explaining that he worked at Morrison and Foerster for approximately 13 years and has remained in contact with and in touch with and, the two “MoFo” attorneys, “over the years.” , who Apple hired as legal counsel earlier this month.

“I have occasional social interactions with them (e.g., bimonthly lunches, seeing them at mutual friends’ parties, and so forth),” Judge Kulkarni wrote. “I believe I have withdrawn from previous cases involving Mr. Wilson and/or Mr. Kuwayti, but only as a prophylactic measure.” After learning of his former colleagues’ involvement, Judge Kulkarni maintained an “informal Meeting with the two sides, at which he said he “tends to walk out” if Apple keeps Wilson or Kuwayti’s attorney. At the same meeting, Kulkarni said he told Apple and Williams that dropping the case would likely mean a delay in the process. Before the meeting, the case was scheduled to go to trial on October 2, 2023.

In a brief April 6, Williams and his legal team strongly opposed the idea that Judge Kulkarni would withdraw from the case, arguing that Apple’s position on the issue “shouldn’t matter” and that the move should Have potential to be “adverse” against former exec.

“Given that this case has been pending for over three years – with a disclosure deadline and trial date fast approaching – and given the court’s familiarity with the parties, case history and applicable law, the court’s denial decision has the potential to do so be detrimental and disruptive,” the brief reads. It then argues that it was Apple that brought a potential conflict of interest to the case.

“Even if there was a conflict could To justify recusal, the procedure imposed by the court – which allows the party who brought the “conflict” and would theoretically benefit from it – to decide whether to waive it is inconsistent with principles of fairness and due process ‘ the brief concludes. “Such a procedure would set a dangerous precedent for judge-shopping in the middle of a case: any part could at any moment recruit a sitting judge’s former peers and then force his or her resignation.”

Summarizing what happened next is more difficult. After the 6th, however, the Santa Clara court held several hearings at which neither side appeared. Apple then moved to dismiss the case on April 26. Qualcomm, Williams’ current employer, did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment.

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