Last month, we talked here about the lawsuit filed by Apple against Gerard Williams III, former executive of the company that led the development of Ma's own chips (from A7 to A12X) and left Cupertino last April to become CEO of CLOUD, manufacturer of processors for mobile devices.
According to Apple, Williams broke the contract he had with the company by opening a new company in the same industry in which he previously worked, bringing secrets (such as his own chip knowledge acquired within Ma) to his own endeavor. The executive then tried to stop the process by citing a California law that allows workers to start new businesses while working elsewhere.
For now, as informed by Bloomberg, Williams' attempt fell apart: the Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled that the law does not allow ?the employee to plan and prepare for the creation of a competitive business prior to the termination of the contract if the employee in question does so using the employer's time and resources ?.
In addition, the court dismissed Williams' accusation that Apple invaded his privacy by bringing text messages to court that he exchanged with employees criticizing the company. Judge Mark Pierce said there was no evidence that the messages were obtained using privacy-invasive techniques, and denied that the evidence was taken out of action.
At least on one point, however, the judge sided with the executive. Pierce rejected Apple's claim for damages, since, he said, Ma did not provide convincing evidence that Williams had a clear intention to harm the company with its shares.
Either way, the process is free to move on: Apple must gather more evidence of Williams' shares, as long as he brings new arguments that he didn't break any laws with the creation of his new company. One of the executive's lawyers has already stated that he will challenge the court's decisions, stating that ?Williams cannot be sued simply for having an idea for a new venture while working at Apple, instead of stealing inventions he worked for and which belonged to his ex. -employer".
Therefore, we will follow the next steps of this story.