Apple is filing a lawsuit against a startup called Rivos over the allegation of gaining possession of confidential documents with the help of former Apple staff. Rivos is a startup founded with the sole aim of designing and marketing its own competing SoCs. Over the past few months, the startup has put up job vacancy descriptions for chip designers, engineers, and architects. In a bid to produce a chip that could rival its business, Rivos poached top staff from Apple’s chip manufacturing team.
The people reached out to by the company have access to a lot of confidential information from Apple. This is a result of the position they occupy within the Apple hierarchy. According to Apple, this move from Rivos has been in motion for a while now, with the main targets being “Apple employees who can obtain Apple’s chip design patents and trade secrets.” This is a big issue because Apple employees are under a non-disclosure agreement. Meaning that they cannot disclose information regarding Apple’s activities to any outsider.
Apple clearly stated how these confidential documents got to Rivos in the filling statement. In Apple’s words regarding its former staff now working with Rivos it said that “After accepting their offers from Rivos, some of these employees took gigabytes of sensitive SoC specifications and design files during their last days of employment with Apple.”
Apple is alleging that the chip startup now has multi-gigabytes (gigabytes) of sensitive SoC specification and design files with the help of former Apple employees now working with Rivos. Apple also acknowledged certain former staff from its ranks that now work with Rivos. According to the chipmaker (Apple), the lawsuits it is filing against its rival are to aid in recovering any stolen chip design patents and trade secrets. If these allegations are true and Rivos stays in possession of these documents it will become a core rival and threat to the Apple chip business. This can put yet to be released Apple SoC at risk of reaching the global market even before they go on sale with any Apple device.