Tesla sues Rivian for allegedly stealing, poaching employees

Rivian EV SUV.

Adam Jeffery | Cnbc

Tesla is suing electric vehicle start-up Rivian in a filing this week, stating that its rival stole trade secrets and illegal employees.

“Rivian is intentionally encouraging the misuse of Tesla’s trade secrets, confidential and proprietary information by Tesla employees,” the company said in a lawsuit. The suit named four former Tesla employees, Tammy Pascal, Kim Wong, Jessica Searns and Carrington Bradley, for allegedly taking confidential information.

“About the past week, Tesla has discovered the disturbing pattern of employees departing for Rivian, a Tesla trade secret, confidential, and stealing proprietary information – information for a startup electric vehicle company Is particularly useful. And Rivian encourages those thefts despite Rivian. Tesla became well aware of the confidentiality obligations of employees.

Rivian employs about 2,300 people, and Tesla claims 178 of them are former Tesla employees.

A spokesperson for Rivian told CNBC, “These allegations of the suit are baseless and run on Rivian’s culture, ethos and corporate policies.” “Upon joining Rivian, we require all employees to confirm that they do not and will not introduce the intellectual property of former employers into the Rivian system.

This is not the first time Tesla has sued a former employee for allegedly stealing information or calling a company to try to poison employees. Tesla last year accused Zox of stealing company information from a self-driving car startup and several former employees. Zox settled with Tesla in April, agreeing to pay an undisclosed sum and undergo an audit.

Tesla also filed a similar lawsuit in 2017 against a former employee involved with Tesla’s automated driving program, which the company co-found an autonomous driving startup called Aurora, and later settled.

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