Tesla’s lawsuit against Rivian claiming the latter company attempted to steal trade secrets is heating up after Judge William Monahan threw out Rivian’s misappropriation of trade secrets claim.
The Santa Clara, CA, Superior Court judge also declined to dismiss claims Tesla believes seven of its former employees revealed trade secrets to Rivian after beginning employment with the Normal, IL-based company.
Monahan agreed to dismiss Rivian’s intentional interference in contract claim because it falls under the “trade secrets” portion of the lawsuit. Bloomberg uncovered the new ruling.
In July, Tesla initiated a lawsuit against Rivian, indicating an “alarming pattern” of poaching employees and stealing trade secrets was taking place. In its original complaint, Tesla believed four individuals, and potentially two additional ones, went to Rivian and took secrets with them.
“Misappropriating Tesla’s competitively useful confidential information when leaving Tesla for a new employer is obviously wrong and risky,” Tesla said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented on the lawsuit several days later, saying Rivian was “absolutely” poaching Tesla’s former employees, but admitted it wasn’t a “massive percentage.”
However, Musk said the employees who left and started working for Rivian “definitely” took Tesla’s intellectual property. One employee, Tami Pascale, who worked for Tesla as a senior staffing manager, admitted to taking “at least 10 confidential and proprietary documents from Tesla’s network, which would allow Rivian to poach Tesla’s highest-performing talent and promising employment prospects.”
“They’re doing bad things, so we sued them,” Musk said in an interview with Automotive News.
Tesla has been pretty open with its information in the past. Musk has stated the company’s patents are open and free to use on numerous occasions, especially if it will...