Tesla has alleged that the upstart electric vehicle company Rivian has stolen extremely classified trade secrets with the help of newly hired workers.
In a case filed in the past week in California Court, Elon Musk’s electric automaker sued the Amazon-backed startup as well as four of its workers of embezzling the trade secrets that infringe the retired employees’ agreements of non-disclosure.
“Rivian instructed one recently departing Tesla employee about the types of Tesla confidential information that Rivian needs,” Tesla’s lawsuit claims. “Both Rivian and the employee knew full well that taking such information would violate the employee’s non-disclosure obligations to Tesla. Nonetheless, the employee expropriated for Rivian the exact information Rivian sought — highly sensitive, trade secret information that would give Rivian huge competitive advantage.”
In the suit, Tesla alleged Rivian has employed dozens of its former workers and claimed that a few of them took private manufacturing, organizational and even recruiting information, as well as catalogs of Tesla employees who might be potential targets for hiring.
In extension to the company, the case further names four ex-Tesla employees who were employed by Rivian. It condemns each of taking papers from Tesla (TSLA) in infringement of non-disclosure agreements signed by them when they were initially hired.
Rivian, which has put up almost $6 billion, intends to start production of the debut battery-electric R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV of the company by mid-2021.
It further has a deal to build 100,000 more all-electric delivery vehicles for Amazon, that will go into the production process once Rivian’s own vehicles are completed. The firm has been laboring for 7 years on a “skateboard” electric automobile platform — encompassing the motor, battery pack as well as computer systems, that can also handily be utilized by other automakers for electric vehicles of their own.
Tesla has formerly accused ex-employees for supposedlysharing its trade secrets with China’s Xpeng Motors as well as Silicon Valley-based Zoox Inc.
In the recentcase, Tesla named itself “number one target from which to acquire information,” for Rivian and said that the company has hired 178 ex-Tesla employees, around 70 of whom were employed to Rivian directly from Tesla.