Economy

Little Company, Big Secrets: Tesla slams Rivian with an IP theft lawsuit

Little Company, Big Secrets: Tesla slams Rivian with an IP theft lawsuit”

Tesla filed suit against EV rival Rivian claiming the company stole trade secrets.

"Rivian instructed 1 not long ago departing Tesla staff about the forms of Tesla confidential information that Rivian wants", Tesla's complaint alleges.

The other lawsuit names former XPeng employee Guangzhi Cao, once a member of Tesla's Autopilot team and one of about 40 people said to have direct access to the software's source code.

Rivian, which expects to launch a battery-electric utility vehicle and a BEV pickup truck early next year and its technology has attracted investments from Amazon and Ford, raising more than $2.5 billion recently to finance the launch of its vehicles As part of its investment, Ford also placed one of its executives on Rivian's board of directors. "Each Rivian and the personnel understood complete nicely that having such details would violate the employee's non-disclosure obligations to Tesla". Tesla previous year accused Zoox, a self-driving vehicle startup, and several former employees of allegedly stealing company information. The accusations were baseless and contrary to Rivians company culture, Ethos and policies, it said in a statement. "This requires the contribution and know-how of thousands of employees from across the technology and automotive spaces".

In its statement, Rivian said "we admire Tesla for its leadership in resetting expectations of what an electric auto can be", while calling the claims in the lawsuit baseless and "counter to Rivian's culture, ethos and corporate policies".

More news: COVID-19: Number of new cases are stable in Ontario, Ottawa

Rivian has announced a fresh timeline for the release of its R1T electric pickup and the R1S electric SUV, going beyond summer 2021. Amazon is also a customer and has ordered 100,000 electric vans from Rivian.

Tesla also filed a similar suit in 2017 against a former employee involved with Tesla's automated driving program who had left the company to co-found an autonomous driving startup called Aurora, and later settled. All six people are now employed at Rivian.

The company has just begun pilot production at its dedicated plant located in Normal, Illinois. Since Rivian's founding in 2009, Tesla claims that it has hired at least 178 ex-Tesla employees, including 13 employees who now act as employee recruiters. Recently, it denied the allegations that the startup was moving its headquarters to Silicon Valley, Tesla's backyard.

The case is Tesla Inc. v. Rivian Automotive Inc., 20CV368472, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County (San Jose).



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