Former Tesla employees to face trial over trade secrets suit against Rivian

Former Tesla employees accused of breaching confidentiality agreements when they left the company to join Rivian have had their plea for dismissal denied by a judge.

In its lawsuit Tesla claims that the almost a dozen former employees had signed agreements and contracts that explicitly prohibited them from misappropriating proprietary information and sharing it with competitors. The court’s refusal to grant a summary adjudication ruling means that the breach of contract issue will proceed to trial, allowing Tesla to pursue its assertion of trade secret violation under California law.

The judge did grant the employees’ request for a ruling on another crucial claim made by Tesla, which alleged that these workers had illegally accessed the company’s computer systems to duplicate and misappropriate sensitive data. (via Bloomberg)

The lawsuit, filed by Tesla in July 2020 and later revised in 2021, alleges that Rivian directly hired over 70 of its former employees, some of whom were caught in the act of stealing core technologies related to Tesla’s next-generation batteries. Rivian, however, denies any wrongdoing and asserts that Tesla’s legal action is merely an attempt to stifle competition in the electric car market.

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

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