The legal battle between tech giant Apple and chip startup Rivos, which began in 2022 with accusations of trade secret theft, has reached a potential resolution. Let’s delve into the details.
Apple and Rivos: Chip feud settled, but the mystery remains unsolved
In 2022, Apple took legal action against Rivos, accusing the startup of misappropriating confidential information about chip design technology. The accusation was based on concerns about former Apple engineers joining Rivos and the potential transfer of sensitive intellectual property.
The lawsuit also said several other unnamed Rivos employees took confidential documents when they left Apple, and that the defendants tried to cover their tracks by wiping data from their Apple-issued devices
Apple said its secrets could be used to “significantly accelerate” the development of competing SoCs. It asked the court to block Rivos from using its trade secrets, order its former employees to return its property, and award it an undisclosed amount of money damages.
Rivos denied the allegations, claiming that their chip technology was developed independently. They even countersued Apple in 2023, accusing them of anti-competitive practices and obstructing their recruitment efforts.
In February 2024, a joint court filing announced a potential settlement agreement between the two companies. Although it formally concluded the legal dispute, the specific terms of the agreement remain undisclosed.
However, the agreement allows Apple to conduct a forensic examination of Rivos’ systems, suggesting potential data retrieval efforts. The financial penalties, admissions of wrongdoing, and potential restrictions on Rivos’ future operations have not been revealed.
The settlement has significant implications for both companies and the tech industry as a whole. It leaves a cloud of uncertainty over Rivos’ future and the broader legal landscape surrounding intellectual property.