Apple Inc. is exploring a possible resolution of a lawsuit wherein it allegedly poached employees from A123 Systems LLC amid reports that the tech giant has an ongoing project to develop an electric car. Apple has asked a federal judge in Boston, Massachusetts for more time to respond to A123’s request for a court order stopping Mujeeb Ijaz, one of its former employees, from breaking his employment agreement as well as preventing the California-based company from urging him to do so.
A123 also accused five of its former employees of breaching non-disclosure agreements as for working at Apple or planning to go. The lawsuit filed by A123 is providing a glimpse into Apple’s latest venture, indicating that the tech company was tapping engineers with automotive experience a year ago when recruiting A123’s employees.
The engineer in the lawsuit, Ijaz, founded A123’s Venture Technologies division that focused on materials research, cell product development and advanced concepts.
People privy with Apple’s effort said the company is pushing for a production car as early as end of the decade – a timeframe that highlights its aggressive goals and primes it with a showdown with Tesla Motors Inc. and General Motors Co.