Apple Reaches Settlement in Trade Secrets Lawsuit with Chip Startup Rivos

Apple Settlement

Apple Inc. has announced a settlement in its high-profile trade secrets lawsuit against chip startup Rivos, marking the end of a contentious legal battle that has drawn significant attention in the tech industry. The dispute centered around allegations that Rivos engaged in the theft of Apple’s proprietary technology related to its system-on-chip (SoC) designs, a critical component of Apple’s hardware ecosystem.

Key Highlights:

  • Apple accused Rivos of hiring away its engineers and using confidential information to develop competing SoC technology.
  • The settlement includes an agreement for Apple to conduct a forensic examination of Rivos’ systems to recover any confidential information.
  • The lawsuit was initially filed by Apple in 2022, alleging that Rivos engaged in a systematic campaign to poach Apple’s employees and misappropriate trade secrets.
  • Rivos denied the allegations, countering with claims of unfair competition practices by Apple.
  • The legal dispute has culminated in a settlement that potentially concludes the litigation, with specific terms focusing on the protection and remediation of Apple’s confidential information.

Apple Settlement

The Case Background

Apple’s lawsuit against Rivos was filed with the claim that the startup had unlawfully acquired trade secrets through the recruitment of former Apple engineers. These engineers allegedly brought with them gigabytes of sensitive data pertaining to Apple’s SoC technology, which has been pivotal in the company’s success in personal and mobile computing over the past decade. Apple argued that its investment in these technologies amounted to billions of dollars and over ten years of research and development.

Rivos, on the other hand, contested Apple’s allegations, asserting that the lawsuit was an attempt to stifle competition and punish the startup and any former Apple employees who chose to join it. Rivos also accused Apple of employing restrictive contracts to hinder its employees from seeking employment elsewhere, highlighting the competitive tensions between the two companies.

Legal Developments and Settlement

The legal proceedings saw Apple securing settlements with several former employees accused of participating in the alleged trade secrets theft. Additionally, the recent agreement between Apple and Rivos allows for a thorough investigation into Rivos’ handling of any Apple confidential information, aiming to ensure the integrity and protection of Apple’s intellectual property.

Implications for the Tech Industry

This case underscores the fierce competition within the tech industry, especially in areas of innovation like SoC design, where proprietary technology represents a significant competitive advantage. It also highlights the challenges companies face in protecting their intellectual property amid the fluid movement of talent across the industry.

The settlement between Apple and Rivos may set a precedent for how similar disputes are resolved in the future, emphasizing the importance of intellectual property rights and the measures companies are willing to take to safeguard their technological advancements.


The settlement of the lawsuit between Apple and Rivos brings to an end a notable dispute in the tech industry, reflecting the complex interplay between competition, innovation, and intellectual property rights. While the specific terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, the resolution allows both companies to move forward, potentially setting a framework for how tech companies address and resolve conflicts over trade secrets and employee mobility in the future​​​​​​​​.


About the author


Jamie Davidson

Jamie Davidson is the Marketing Communications Manager for Vast Conference, a meeting solution providing HD-audio, video conferencing with screen sharing, and a mobile app to easily and reliably get work done."