Apple Sued former A-Chip Architect Williams III for Breach of Contract relating to an IP Agreement to not Compete with Apple
In March Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple's A-Chip Mastermind has Reportedly left Apple." The mastermind was Gerard Williams III. Earlier in 2017 Manu Gulati, another chip engineer left Apple to work on Google's Pixel smartphones. The two ex-Apple engineers are now co-founders of a new chip design company NUVIA that is aiming to take on Intel and AMD – though Apple see's it differently.
To have described Gerard Williams III a 'chip mastermind' was likely an understatement. The ex-Sr Dir in Platform Architecture leaving Apple was a real blow as the designs by Williams kept Apple years ahead of their competitors.
In a newly published report today states that Williams is now claiming that Apple reviewed his confidential text messages before suing him for launching his own startup NUVIA.
Apple sued Williams for breach of contract in August, saying he was barred in an intellectual property agreement from planning or engaging in any business activities that are "competitive with or directly related to Apple’s business or products."
In response, Williams accused Apple of a "stunning and disquieting invasion of privacy" over its monitoring of his texts. In one message, Williams said Apple would have "no choice but to purchase" his new company.
The report later noted that "Apple said in its complaint in state court in San Jose that criticism of the company in text messages by Williams signaled he was encouraging Apple co-workers to depart the company and join Nuvia. Apple also said that Williams 'planned and developed' Nuvia while still employed at Apple and used his knowledge during his tenure of almost a decade at the iPhone maker to develop technologies that would later be used at Nuvia.
While Apple’s public-facing work is on mobile chips that wouldn’t immediately appear to compete with Nuvia’s server chips, Apple said in its suit that it has "considered designing (or customizing)" servers and had "researched and developed significant server-related technology to optimize performance of servers used in its own operations and development work."
Williams has a hearing set for Jan. 21 to try to get the case dismissed. Williams and his lawyers claim Apple’s lawsuit is a "desperate effort to shut down lawful employment by a former employee." For more, read the full Bloomberg report.