New developments on Apple's lawsuit against a startup for stealing trade secrets

A federal judge in California ruled Friday, August 11, in a lawsuit Apple accuses startup Rivos Inc. bribed its engineers to steal trade secrets used to develop chip designs.

San Jose District Judge Edward Davila said Apple had identified a trade secret stolen by Rivos and three former company employees that "caused serious damage." The judge denied Rivos' request to dismiss claims under the Trade Secrets Act as well as breach of contract claims against five former Apple employees.

The dispute revolves around "system-on-chip" technology that shrinks many computer components into a small chip, which Apple says it has invested billions of dollars in to make its devices more powerful.

Judge Davila dismissed several trade secret claims against six employees, a breach of contract claim against one employee, and allowed Apple to file an amendment.

Apple claimed in its lawsuit last year that Rivos hired dozens of Apple engineers and began a "coordinated campaign" in June 2021 targeting its employees.

According to the lawsuit, former employees left and joined Rivos after stealing "very sensitive" proprietary and trade secret information about Apple's "system-on-chip" designs, including M1 laptop and A15 mobile phone chip.

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