Apple quietly drops lawsuit against former Apple Silicon exec who left company to run his own chip startup


Apple has quietly withdrawn its lawsuit against former executive Gerard Williams III, in a filing posted on Friday (via Bloomberg).

Williams was described as critical to the development of the high-performance A-series and M-series Apple Silicon chips. He left Apple to start a server chip startup Nuvia. Apple accused him of poaching colleagues for the startup, whilst he was still under Apple’s employ. Lawsuit proceedings began in 2019.

Nuvia was acquired by Qualcomm in 2021. Late last year, The Information cited Nuvia as one reason for a ‘brain drain’ in the Apple silicon engineering group.

Williams countersued Apple’s 2019 complaint, claiming Apple was hiring his staff and illicitly blocking people from leaving. Apple fought to upheld the suit in the intervening years, with a judge ruling the case could go proceed.

Given how much Apple had pursued the case up to now, it’s a little bizarre for the company to withdraw out of the blue. There may have been a private settlement of terms, although the court request to dismissal did not elaborate.

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