“Apple has reason to believe that Rivos instructed at least some Apple employees to download and install apps for encrypted communications (e.g., the Signal app) before communicating with them further,” the company says in the complaint. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.
Apple has accused another firm of stealing its trade secrets. According to a complaint filed on Friday, Rivos, a “stealth-mode” startup based in Mountain View, California, led a recent “coordinated campaign” to poach employees from Apple’s chip design division. According to Reuters, which was the first to report on the lawsuit, Apple claims that at least two former employees took gigabytes of confidential data with them to Rivos. Presentations detailing unreleased chip designs are among the information allegedly stolen by those individuals, according to Bloomberg.
Should the case move forward, it’s likely to draw a significant amount of attention, much like Waymo’s suit against Uber for stealing confidential information about its self-driving technology did in 2017. After years of litigation, that case ended with Uber agreeing to settle for $245 million, and with a court sentencing Anthony Levandowski, the engineer at the center of the dispute, to 18 months in prison before former President Donald Trump issued a pardon.