A123 Systems is a pioneering industrial lithium-ion battery maker, which was supported by a $249 million US government grant. But, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and has been selling off assets recently.
Electric-car battery maker A123 Systems has sued Apple Inc for illegaly hiring top engineers to build a large-scale battery division, according to a court filing that offered further evidence that the iPhone maker may be developing a car.
Apple has been hiring engineers with deep expertise in car systems, including from Tesla Inc, and talking with industry experts and automakers with the ultimate aim of learning how to make its own electric car, an auto industry source said last week.
The engineers jumped ship to pursue similar programs at Apple, in violation of their employment agreements, A123 said in a filing earlier this month in Massachusetts federal court. "Apple is currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123," the lawsuit read. The suit was reported earlier by legal website law360.com.
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Lithium-ion is a battery technology that can be used in applications from computers to airplanes, but A123 specializes in big batteries that can be used in big machines, including cars. A123 did not say what the engineers specifically worked on.