Rivos Unveils: How Apple’s Dominance Instills Fear in Employees, Stifling Innovation and Career Growth

Rivos Countersues Apple, Accusing iPhone Maker of Restricting Employee Mobility

Rivos, a stealth startup, has countersued Apple after being accused of stealing Apple chip secrets through the poaching of former Apple employees. Apple’s lawsuit, filed last May, alleges that the employees used various methods, including USB drives, AirDrop, and cloud accounts, to steal confidential information. However, a court threw out the initial claim, allowing Apple to file a revised lawsuit.

In response, Rivos and six ex-Apple employees have filed a countersuit, arguing that Apple’s non-disclosure and non-solicit agreements are overly broad and unenforceable. They claim that Apple’s restrictions on employee mobility are designed to intimidate and prevent competition in the marketplace. The dispute centers around what Apple can reasonably order former employees to keep secret, with Rivos arguing that Apple wants to protect all information learned during an employee’s time at the company, regardless of its status as intellectual property.

This case bears similarities to the Gerard Williams III/Nuvia case, where Apple accused its former lead chip architect of taking company secrets to chip startup Nuvia. Williams countersued, claiming that Apple’s non-compete clause was unenforceable. The case was later quietly withdrawn by Apple, and a confidential settlement is expected.

Overall, the dispute between Rivos and Apple highlights the ongoing tension between tech giants and emerging startups, as well as the issue of employee mobility and competition in the industry.