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 Apple’s own chips (from A7 to A12X) and left Cupertino last April to become CEO of CLOUD, manufacturer – exactly – of processors for mobile devices.
According to Apple, Williams broke his contract with the company by opening a new company in the same industry in which he previously worked, taking secrets (such as the knowledge on chips acquired within Apple) for his own endeavor. The executive then tried to stop the process by citing a California law that allows workers to establish new businesses while working elsewhere.
Now, as informed by Bloomberg, Williams’ attempt fell apart: the Superior Court of Santa Clara County ruled that the law does not allow “the employee to plan and prepare for the creation of a competitive business before the end of the contract if the employee in question does so using the employer’s time and resources ”.
In addition, the court dismissed Williams’s accusation that Apple invaded his privacy by bringing text messages to the court that he exchanged with employees criticizing the company. Judge Mark Pierce said there was no evidence that the messages were obtained with privacy invasion techniques, and denied that the evidence was taken from the action.
At least on one point, however, the judge sided with the executive. Pierce rejected Apple’s request for damages, since, according to him, Apple did not provide convincing evidence that Williams had a clear intention to harm the company with his actions.
Either way, the process is free to move on: Apple is expected to gather more evidence of Williams’ actions, while he will bring new arguments that he did not break any laws with the creation of his new company. One of the executive’s lawyers has already said 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, let us follow the next steps in this story.