Just yesterday, we reported that the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association and Chicago Trade Association have filed a lawsuit against Ford and Amazon-backed Rivian for attempting to sell cars in the state without a dealer’s license. However, this isn’t the only Rivian lawsuit on the books at the moment. The automaker is also being sued by Tesla, which alleges that it stole trade secrets from the established EV maker. And now, that case will move forward following a Superior Court ruling.
California Superior Court Judge William Monahan declined to throw out the Rivian lawsuit at the request of the automaker, which means that the lawsuit can proceed. However, Monahan did opt to dismiss Rivian’s international interference in contract claim, which he said was covered by the piece of the suit that relates to the misappropriation of trade secrets claim.
Monahan also declined to dismiss Tesla’s claims against seven of its former employees, which the automaker has accused of divulging trade secrets with their new employer. In total, Rivian has reportedly hired 178 former Tesla workers, 70 of whom joined Rivian directly after leaving Tesla. In total, Rivian has hired around 2,400 employees from other companies in the automotive and tech industries.
Tesla alleges that at least one of those employees took “confidential and proprietary documents from Tesla’s network including candidate lists, information about where the automaker finds potential hires, and a detailed internal write-up of an executive-level candidate,” and has accused Rivian of not only being aware of these violations but also encouraging them.
For its part, Rivian is denying any wrongdoing and claims that Tesla’s lawsuit is an attempt to retain its dominant position in the EV market by suppressing its competition.
Meanwhile, the 2023 Ford F-150 Electric battery supplier – SK Innovation – has also been accused of stealing trade secrets, and is in the midst of a legal battle with rival EV battery maker LG Chem as the two attempt to reach a settlement.