The suit was filed in January 2015, about a month after Innovium incorporated. Broadcom has since been acquired by Avago, with the combined company going under the name Broadcom Ltd.
It’s possible that the acquisition, which closed Feb. 1, gave Innovium a window to settle the suit. After all, Broadcom Ltd. is going to be busy finishing the integration that comes with the $37 billion deal.
Based in San Jose, Calif., Innovium hasn’t revealed what it’s doing, but two of its founders came from Broadcom’s Ethernet chips division, so it’s a good bet they’re building something to rival Broadcom’s Trident and Tomahawk, franchise chips that are considered staples of the data center.
Broadcom didn’t take kindly to that possibility, nor to the startup’s hiring of other Broadcom employees. That alleged poaching, plus supposed violations of trade secrets, led Broadcom to sue Innovium and founders Mohammed Issa and Puneet Agarwal.
Innovium maintained that it did everything above-the-board and was careful not to directly recruit anybody from Broadcom.
One founder never worked at Broadcom: Innovium CEO Rajiv Khemani. According to court documents, he was the one who pitched investors — the implication being that this kept Broadcom’s trade secrets out of any financing discussions. Khemani’s work resulted in a $15 million Series A for the startup, led by Capricorn and Walden Riverwood. It’s unclear when this happened, but you can see it mentioned on the startup’s minimalist (so far) news page.