Tesla filed lawsuit against electric vehicle rival Rivian, which is preparing to launch its pair of electric vehicles in 2021, claiming the up-and-coming EV maker is violating the law to get a leg up.
In court documents filed in the Superior Court of California of Santa Clara County, Tesla accused Rivian of pirating four employees and stealing trade secrets from Tesla. The four employees, each of whom is named as a defendant in the lawsuits, also are accused the stealing secrets.
“Misappropriating Tesla’s competitively useful confidential information when leaving Tesla for a new employer is obviously wrong and risky,” Tesla said in the complaint against Rivian and the four employees. “One would engage in that behavior only for an important benefit — to use it to serve the competitive interests of a new employer,” the complaint added.
In a statement e-mailed to The Detroit Bureau, Rivian denied doing anything improper.
“We admire Tesla for its leadership in resetting expectations of what an electric car can be. Rivian is made up of high-performing, mission-driven teams, and our business model and technology are based on many years of engineering, design and strategy development,” the statement said.
“This requires the contribution and know-how of thousands of employees from across the technology and automotive spaces. Upon joining Rivian, we require all employees to confirm that they have not, and will not, introduce former employers’ intellectual property into Rivian systems. This suit’s allegations are baseless and run counter to Rivian’s culture, ethos and corporate policies.”
Rivian, which expects to launch a battery-electric utility vehicle and a BEV pickup truck early next year and its technology has attracted investments from Amazon and Ford, raising more than $2.5 billion recently to finance the launch of its vehicles As part of its investment, Ford also placed one of its executives on Rivian’s board of directors.
In addition to the introduction of its pickup and sport-utility, it also plans to roll out its new electric utility vehicle for investor Amazon.
Tesla stock has boomed in recent months and has received a huge wave of publicity around its Cybertruck pick up that Tesla founder Elon Musk announced this week will be built in a new plant that will be built in Texas.
The new Gigafactory was one of the highlights of the week. The company posted a $104 million profit on $6.04 billion in revenue. It marked the fourth consecutive quarter the California-based EV maker turned a profit, making it eligible – and likely – to be listed on the S&P 500.