Tesla settles case of AI trade secret theft with former employee

Tesla has settled a lawsuit against its former employee, with monetary compensation involved, according to Reuters.

The American EV maker took its former engineer, Alexander Yatskov, to court, alleging the theft of AI trade secret. Yatskov worked on Tesla’s AI-training supercomputer Dojo before resigning in May when placed on administrative leave.

As a filing at the San Francisco federal court shows, the two parties have reached an agreement, with Yatskov paying Tesla an undisclosed amount of money.

Yatskov was a thermal engineer who started working at Tesla last year in January. His work helped develop Dojo, which Tesla claimed in the lawsuit would solve complex engineering problems such as autonomous driving.

Tesla claimed Yatskov kept confidential information about the supercomputer on his personal computer. When Tesla tried to investigate, Yatskov allegedly provided a dummy computer to cover his tracks.

Yatskov did not deny downloading confidential files to his personal computer while employed by Tesla. However, he claimed he did so for work purposes and tried to delete the files after he completed his task. He told the court that he turned over Tesla’s material after he left the company.

The case was sent to arbitration last year by a San Francisco federal judge, despite Yatskov’s plea to contest it in federal court because he found it humiliating.

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