Electric vehicle makers fight over trade secrets
The particulars of a legal battle between two of the largest electric car manufacturers in the nation about the alleged theft of trade secrets and poaching of employees continue to be contested.
The two companies that produce electric vehicles are continuing their back-and-forth on the lawsuit that alleges one of them stole trade secrets from the other.
Rivian Automotive, a business that manufactures electric SUVs and pickup trucks and is not a big brand, is seeking a court to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the firm by rival Tesla. The complaint was filed against Rivian Automotive.
In the beginning of this summer, Tesla filed a lawsuit against a firm headquartered in Michigan, accusing it of recruiting away its staff and encouraging one of its workers to steal trade secrets. According to Tesla's claims in the lawsuit, around 70 employees have left the firm to work for Rivian, with 22 of those departures occurring in the last four months.
Even though Tesla does not sell trucks and SUVs like Rivian does, the company claims that it has received over 500,000 reservations for its Cybertruck, a pickup truck that Tesla is planning to release in 2021 and that Tesla is developing ""Rivian's top priority when it comes to acquiring information from other sources, including trade secrets, confidential information, and proprietary information."
In a complaint from the month of July, Tesla claims that thirteen of Rivian's recruiters are former employees of Tesla, and that all of them are current Rivian employees "a person who is "familiar with Tesla's several agreements, policies, and practices that prohibit Tesla employees, including former employees, from disclosing Tesla's confidential and proprietary information to Tesla's competitors and other third parties." Tesla asserts that this has not prevented the individuals in question from stealing the company's data.
Tesla claims that at least one former employee took highly sensitive trade secret compensation and bonus information for Tesla sales personnel for use at Rivian, including base pay rates, target bonuses, new hire equity awards, and incentive-based compensation numbers. This information was taken by the employee on his or her way out the door."
Two other workers stole a range of materials, including applicant lists, organizational charts for Tesla recruitment, information on Tesla recruiters, and businesses from whom Tesla obtains people... project management for the manufacturing industry, controls specifications for manufacturing equipment, specifications pertaining to manufacturing robots, and requirements for manufacturing equipment.
Rivian filed a motion with a judge in the California Superior Court in Santa Clara last week, requesting that the case be thrown out on the grounds that two of the three claims do not adequately allege that trade secret theft had place. Rivian maintains that the lawsuit is nothing more than an effort to tarnish its name and make it more difficult for the firm to find new employees.
On Monday of this week, legal representatives for Rivian submitted a notice of demurrer, which is a formal objection to two of Tesla's allegations.
Rivian said in its motion that Tesla did not bring this lawsuit to defend or protect any valid intellectual property rights. [Citation needed] Tesla filed a lawsuit against Rivian in an inappropriate and deliberate effort to halt Rivian's progress and to tarnish Rivian's brand, according to the lawsuit.
Additionally, the business claimed that it has "strict processes and procedures" to ensure that it does not get private information from other businesses while it is on-boarding new workers "and that none of Tesla's activities have yielded any evidence of the company's trade secrets.
Tesla has shown in the past that it will not be intimidated while defending its proprietary information.
It has an ongoing lawsuit against its former employee Martin Tripp, which stems from the theft of several gigabytes worth of valuable trade secret material; Tripp afterwards claimed to be a whistleblower condemning the company's security and safety measures, and the litigation is still active. Zoox, another self-driving business, reached a settlement with the company earlier this year after admitting that some of its workers who had previously worked for Tesla were in possession of Tesla data when they joined Zoox. The individuals had worked at Tesla for a period of time.