Tesla Sues Electric Truck Start-Up for Trade Secret Violations Related to Former Employees

Electric car manufacturer Tesla has brought a lawsuit in a California state court against Rivian, a company that manufactures electric trucks. Nearly 200 Rivian employees previously worked for Tesla, according to its allegations in the complaint. Tesla is also suing four of its former employees for assisting Rivian in stealing trade secrets from Tesla. These secrets involve confidential and proprietary information under Tesla’s control that relates to the electric vehicle industry.

According to Tesla, Rivian should be held accountable for trade secret thefts by former Tesla employees because it has encouraged them to share Tesla’s confidential information. However, Rivian denies these assertions. It claims that it requires employees arriving from another company to guarantee that they will not bring trade secrets and other intellectual property from their former employer.

Tesla has a history of suing other companies and former employees in these types of situations. It settled a lawsuit with several former employees and a self-driving car start-up, Zoox, after it claimed that its former employees had provided Zoox with confidential information. The settlement resulted in a payment to Tesla and an audit of Zoox.  Even before that case, Tesla sued a former employee who had co-founded a self-driving car start-up, Aurora, after leaving the automated driving program at Tesla. This case also resulted in a settlement.

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