It might seem like common sense not to take confidential documents from your previous employer, especially one like Tesla, but that’s what Tesla alleges some former employees did before going to Zoox, a self-driving startup based in California.
Tesla lawyers filed a lawsuit in March 2019 against Zoox, claiming those employees had taken proprietary information and trade secrets regarding warehousing, logistics, and inventory control operations (via Reuters).
Tesla claimed those secrets allowed Zoox to “leapfrog past years of work needed to develop and run its own” operations.
That lawsuit has now been settled before reaching trial, with Zoox also acknowledging the facts of the case in a statement.
“Zoox acknowledges that certain of its new hires from Tesla were in possession of Tesla documents pertaining to shipping, receiving, and warehouse procedures when they joined Zoox’s logistics team,” Zoox said in a statement.
Official terms of the settlement were not released, but Zoox will have to pay Tesla an undisclosed amount of money, and also undergo an audit to ensure that no other employees have retained or are using the stolen information.