Tesla actively trying to safeguard its trade secrets from Rivian

There is another turn in a clash between Tesla Inc. and Rivian Automotive Inc. Tesla seemed to escalate its fight with Rivian in order to protect its trade secrets. The Rivian is known for making electric pickups globally. Tesla has accused electric vehicle makers of continuously poaching its employees and stealing highly proprietary and confidential battery technology.

The world’s leading electric-vehicle maker, Tesla states in a court filing last month, “The lawsuit we filed 14 months ago against Rivian hasn’t stopped the start-up from raiding our staff and looting our intellectual property. This includes one instance this summer where our defectors were caught red-handed stealing the core technology for our next-generation batteries, the most essential element for any electric vehicle.”

“Now apparently under pressure from investors after nearly a dozen years without producing a single commercial vehicle, Rivian has intensified its unlawful efforts,” Tesla further added said. However, Rivian preferred not to comment on anything. The matter was filed at a California state court which came before the judge San Jose. He granted permission to Tesla for adding two things which are:

  1. Its new allegations to the already pending case, and
  2. Three more of its former employees as defendants.

Rivian of course objected to this by arguing that the claims were not supported by the facts and also added that dramatically expanding the scope of the litigation would definitely delay resolving it. Rivian lost its initial request for dismissal of all claims made by Tesla way back in the month of March.

Superior Court Judge Peter Manoukian also gave the reason in his Sept. 28 ruling, it was efficient enough to broaden the case at that juncture while making clear he was not blessing the merits of claims made by Tesla. “Here, defendants contend that Tesla has not alleged plausible facts to support its contention that defendants acquired confidential battery information,” he wrote. “That contention has some appeal to it.”

“Tesla dragged its feet since initially filing suit in July 2020 and hasn’t sufficiently specified the trade secrets it claimed were stolen, nor how the data at issue is distinct from what’s already public knowledge. For several of its trade secrets it has provided so little detail that Rivian is unable to ascertain what Tesla is claiming as its intellectual property, let alone whether what it is claiming is or could be secret,” Rivian said in a filing.

The case can be reached with the name “Tesla Inc. v. Rivian Automotive Inc., 20CV368472, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County (San Jose).”


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