Apple agrees to settle legal case with battery-maker

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Image caption Apple was accused of poaching engineers from A123 Systems

Apple has agreed to settle a case brought over claims it poached staff from a firm that makes batteries for electric cars, court documents show.

The iPhone-maker was accused of targeting engineers from A123 in mid-2014 as it sought to build a large-scale battery unit.

It denied the claim when a suit was filed in a court in the Massachusetts federal court in February this year.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in court papers.

The agreement in principle was disclosed in the papers filed by the battery-maker, which is based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The two parties are said to be working out the final details.

A123 claimed that, in about June 2014, Apple began aggressively poaching its engineers who were leading some of the company's most critical projects. Apple denied the claims.

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Image caption The Cupertino firm has agreed to settle the case, according to court documents

In March, Apple unsuccessfully applied to have the case thrown out, claiming that it was based "solely on labels and conclusions" that weave "an elaborate but ultimately incorrect and unsupportable theory", the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the newspaper, the discussions had been going on since late March and court documents show that A123 has repeatedly filed for permission to delay since then. Apple was also asking for the case to be moved closer to its California base.

A123 Systems is a pioneering industrial lithium-ion battery-maker, which was backed by a $249m (£158m) US government grant. It filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and has been selling off assets.

Apple refused to comment, while A123 did not respond.

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