Gerard Williams III, CEO of Nuvia Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) had been Apple's chief CPU architect for nearly a decade before leaving Apple and forming Nuvia early in 2019. Two co-founders left key positions at Google. Williams was later hit with the suit that claimed he worked and communicated on the formation of a company prior to leaving Apple in breach of his employment contract.
Williams first line of defence was that his employment contract was in conflict with Californian state law that allows workers to develop new businesses while employed by somebody else, the report said.
The judge has ruled that an employee does not have the right to do so on their employer's time and resources, and that therefore Williams does have a case to answer, it continued. However, the judge sided with Williams in denying Apple's request to seek punitive damages, the report added.
The case is being seen as a test of California's generally liberal approach to fostering worker migration and entrepreneurship.
Nuvia's founding team is highly experienced in designed leading-edge processors and the company has raised US$53 million in a Series A round of equity financing.
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