Apple to Settle Trade Secret Lawsuit With SoC Startup Rivos

Apple has reached an agreement with Rivos, the SoC company that it sued in 2022 for theft of trade secrets, reports Bloomberg. Rivos will submit to a forensic examination of its systems to remove any confidential Apple information.

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Rivos hired more than 40 employees from Apple, including several former high-ranking engineers, leading Apple to file a lawsuit in May 2022. Apple accused Rivos of poaching employees and stealing chip trade secrets via those employees. Rivos is designing SoCs that would compete with Apple's A-series and M-series chips.

According to Apple, at least two engineers hired by Rivos took "gigabytes of sensitive SoC specifications and design files" during their last few days at Apple. The employees used USB drives and AirDrop to transfer sensitive Apple material to their own personal devices, and allegedly stole presentations on unreleased SoCs.

Apple asked for an injunction against the employees that joined Rivos to prevent them from continuing to leak sensitive data, and it sought compensation for the loss caused by trade secret misappropriation and Rivos' "unjust enrichment" at Apple's expense. Apple wanted a "reasonable royalty rate" from Rivos on future products, and had requested a jury trial.

Rivos and Apple are aiming to finalize their settlement by March 15, and are working through the remediation process.

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Top Rated Comments

coolfactor Avatar
19 weeks ago
If proven, shouldn't the workers be held personally responsible? That's terrible and unacceptable behaviour.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
19 weeks ago

According to Apple, at least two engineers hired by Rivos took "gigabytes of sensitive SoC specifications and design files" during their last few days at Apple. The employees used USB drives and AirDrop to transfer sensitive Apple material to their own personal devices, and allegedly stole presentations on unreleased SoCs
if that is the case, they should be sued separately (which might have happened already) - it's theft, plain and simple
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Exponent Avatar
19 weeks ago

FYI, every company I work for, I always take a copy of all the code I've worked on. Never with any intention to share that company's proprietary work, but merely for my own personal reference to what I've done and how I did it. Sometimes I want to use a similar coding technique, and it's very useful to be able to reference my old code. It's also useful for updating my resume, or doing a refresh before an interview.
Bzzt! Wrong answer! This is highly, highly illegal, and will land you in big heaps of trouble if caught.

Instead, write personal code on your nights and weekends in the same language you're using at work, but aiming at a different application for the code. This way you have a code base to refer to when you're no longer on the project, and your former employer will have no rights to it.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlc1978 Avatar
19 weeks ago

While the Court did not dismiss Apple’s claims against some other individual defendants, that does not mean that these individuals are liable on the merits.
From what i could gather, Apple claimed the engineers could not use anything they learned while at Apple, clearly over-broad and the judge tossed that while recognizing some misappropriation occurred and let that continue.

Both sides probably decided to settle and move forward.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Siliconguy Avatar
19 weeks ago

apple getting a taste of their own medicine stop stealing other peoples idea
It's an old game, but you are right, Apple pulled the same "poach the employees who know the IP" drill on Masimo.

Double standard much at Apple? What? those rules apply to us too? Who would have thought?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
19 weeks ago

From what i could gather, Apple claimed the engineers could not use anything they learned while at Apple, clearly over-broad and the judge tossed that while recognizing some misappropriation occurred and let that continue.

Both sides probably decided to settle and move forward.
From what it says, employees were allegedly copying confidential files shortly before leaving-- that's different than using what you learn, that's data theft.

If I were Rivos, and this turned out to be true, I'd fire those employees before they could do the same to me.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)