Tesla, which is already suing Rivian and former employees of the electric pickup startup, is expand the lawsuit against the company.
It now claims that Rivian is stealing its “trade secrets” about battery technology.
Rivian has been one, if not the most serious electric vehicle startup since Tesla, and one reason the company is viewed as a more serious addition in an increasingly dense space is its tendency to follow in Tesla’s footsteps.
The company has taken several steps, adding many EV professionals including ourselves ElectricsThis thought was instrumental in Tesla’s success in the field of electric vehicles.
For example, Tesla has set up its own network of fast charging stations, the Supercharger network.
Rivian announced plans to use one of their own Fast charging network that will allow its owners to rely less on third-party public chargers.
Tesla is also abandoning the third-party franchise model for sales and service that is common for automobiles in North America.
Instead, the automaker decided to use its own in-house branch and service center network and use mobile technicians.
Earlier this year, Rivian announced almost the same model.
These are all steps that we believe contributed to Tesla’s success and should also help Rivian, but now Tesla believes Rivian is doing more than following in his footsteps.
Last year, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Rivian for allegedly stealing trade secrets by hiring former Tesla employees and encouraging them to bring documents.
Rivian denies the allegations.
When Tesla filed the lawsuit, it wasn’t clear what exact trade secrets Tesla was alleging that Rivian had stolen, but we did discover that the employees listed in the lawsuits were two recruiters, an EHS manager, and a manager of Tesla’s charging networks.
The automaker claimed that these employees brought “documents containing highly sensitive trade secrets, confidential and proprietary technical information” with them when they went to Rivian for work.
Tesla has now expanded its lawsuit to include more specific claims of trade secret theft.
It was tabled to add new claims that Rivian is “stealing the core technology for its next-generation batteries” (via Bloomberg):
The world’s leading maker of electric vehicles says the lawsuit it filed against Rivian 14 months ago didn’t stop the startup from raiding its employees and ransacking its intellectual property. That includes a case this summer where Tesla defectors were “caught in the act” stealing core technology for its next-generation batteries, “the most important element in any electric vehicle,” according to a court file last month.
Tesla added the new claims to the lawsuit as Rivian prepared the first deliveries of its R1T electric pickup truck.
The automaker attacked them for not delivering the vehicle yet:
“After nearly a dozen years without a single commercial vehicle being produced, Rivian has now apparently intensified its illegal efforts under pressure from investors …”
It also comes when Rivian applies for a public offer that would be valued at $ 80 billion to $ 100 billion.
With these new lawsuits, Tesla is now adding five more former employees to the lawsuits.
A judge overseeing the case in California has agreed to include the new claims in the lawsuit.
Rivian has not yet commented on the new allegations.
FTC: We Use Income Earning Auto Affiliate Links. More.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.