It’s been a little while since we’ve heard any big news about Tesla’s supercomputer technology called Dojo but a new lawsuit is changing that. According to Tesla, an engineer who was employed just this past January saved confidential information about Dojo on his personal device. That action is at the heart of a new lawsuit from Tesla against the now departed engineer.
“This is a case about illicit retention of trade secrets by an employee who, in his short time at Tesla, already demonstrated a track record of lying and then lying again by providing a ‘dummy’ device to try and cover his tracks,” said Tesla in the official filing, Tesla Inc. v. Yatskov, 5:22-cv-02725, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.
That employee is Alexander Yatskov who, according to Tesla, not only took that information but then apparently turned over a dummy device when confronted about the problem. When reached by Bloomberg, Yatskov said he didn’t even know about the complaint.
Tesla is hoping to force Yatskov to return the information as well as bar him from disseminating it in the future. Additionally, they’re seeking damages from him after accusing him of lying about his qualifications during the hiring process.
According to his LinkedIn page, he’s been a thermal engineer for decades, most recently at Juniper Networks, so it would seem that he has quite a bit of experience. This isn’t the first time that Tesla has sued former employees in recent months.
In fact, last year Tesla went as far as to sue Rivian as a whole over former employees that jumped ship to the upstart R1T builder. Rivian had picked up seven former employees at the time but very clearly rejected the allegations.
At the time it said that they “have not, and will not, introduce former employers’ intellectual property into Rivian systems.” Of course, individual lawsuits aren’t new for Tesla either. In January of last year, Tesla sued Alex Khatilov over the theft of a number of confidential files.
Back in 2019, Tesla sued self-driving startup Zoox for hiring former Tesla employees and ended up winning so we’ll have to wait to see if they pick up a W in this case as well.