Tesla Can Move Ahead with Trade-Secret Suit Against Rivian & 7 Former Employees

by Eva Fox March 31, 2021

Tesla Can Move Ahead with Trade-Secret Suit Against Rivian & 7 Former Employees

According to a court ruling, Tesla has every right to file a lawsuit that Rivian stole its trade secret with the help of former employees. In addition, Tesla's filing of a lawsuit against seven former employees whom the automaker accuses of divulging trade secrets may remain in force.

In a tentative ruling Monday, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge William Monahan declined Rivian's request to throw out the misappropriation of trade secrets claim. Monahan agreed to dismiss Rivian's intentional interference in a contract claim, saying the trade secrets part covered that, according to Bloomberg.

The judge also declined to dismiss Tesla’s claims against seven of its former employees, all of whom the carmaker accuses of divulging trade secrets when they went to work for Rivian. According to Tesla's lawsuit filed in June, Rivian has hired at least 178 of its former employees. So far Tesla has filed a lawsuit against 7 of them:

  • Tami Pascale - formerly Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition
  • Kim Wong - former Field Recruiter at Tesla
  • Jessica Siron - worked in the Department of Environmental, Health & Safety
  • Carrington Bradley - formerly Manager for Charging Programs

Tesla claims that Rivian poached its employees from whom it tried to obtain the company's trade secrets and important information related to its achievements in the field of engineering and software. Tesla claims that Rivian recruited dishonestly, which violates the law:

"Tesla has recently discovered, however, an alarming pattern among Tesla employees recently leaving to join Rivian. As Tesla now knows, Rivian instructed one recently departing Tesla employee about the types of Tesla confidential information that Rivian needs. Both Rivian and the employee knew full well that taking such information would Violate the employee's non-disclosure obligations to Tesla. Nonetheless, the employee expropriated for Rivian the exact information Rivian sought — highly sensitive, trade secret information that would give Rivian a huge competitive advantage."

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

© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.

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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter









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