Electric car makers at war: Why Tesla is taking rivals Rivian to court
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Up until this point, we've seen minimal real interaction between electric car industry heavyweight Tesla and up-and-comers Rivian. But, that looks set to soon change.
Tesla has confirmed that it's filed a lawsuit against Rivian Automotive. The firm alleges that Rivian poached employees and stole trade secrets. It also alleges that four former Tesla employees stole sensitive information before shifting across to the start-up.
Tesla says that Rivian has hired 178 former Tesla employees, with almost half of them making the switch from one company to the other directly.
“Misappropriating Tesla’s competitively useful confidential information when leaving Tesla for a new employer is obviously wrong and risky," reads the complaint, filed in a San Jose court.
"One would engage in that behavior only for an important benefit – to use it to serve the competitive interests of a new employer.”
In response to the allegations, Rivian stated that it “[has] not, and will not, introduce former employers’ intellectual property into Rivian systems.”
“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," it added.
"This requires the contribution and know-how of thousands of employees from across the technology and automotive spaces.”
It's not the first time Tesla employees have been in the spotlight. In 2018 it was alleged by CNBC that Tesla had an issue with employee morale, a claim that Tesla denied at the time.
The firm is in the midst of expansion, with another factory in America and speculation of another factory in Asia being on the way.