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Apple has withdrawn its lawsuit against former executive Gerard Williams III, a critical player in the development of high-performance A-series and M-series Apple Silicon chips. The lawsuit had accused Williams of poaching colleagues for his startup Nuvia while he was still employed at Apple. However, in a recent filing, Apple has quietly withdrawn the suit, leaving many wondering about the reasons behind the decision.
Williams left Apple to start his own server chip startup, Nuvia, in 2019. Apple promptly accused him of poaching employees for the new venture. The legal proceedings that followed had been ongoing until Apple’s recent withdrawal of the lawsuit.
Nuvia was later acquired by Qualcomm in 2021, and it was cited by The Information as one reason for the so-called “brain drain” in Apple’s silicon engineering group.
Williams, for his part, countersued Apple’s 2019 complaint, alleging that Apple had been hiring its staff and unlawfully blocking people from leaving. In the intervening years, Apple fought to uphold its lawsuit against Williams, but a judge eventually ruled that the case could proceed.
Given Apple’s previous level of commitment to the case, it’s unclear why the company has suddenly withdrawn the lawsuit against Williams. Some speculate that there may have been a private settlement of terms, though the court’s request for dismissal did not provide any specific details.
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The withdrawal of the lawsuit is a surprising turn of events in what had been a lengthy legal battle between Apple and Williams. It remains to be seen whether any further details will emerge about the reasons behind Apple’s decision to withdraw the case.