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Tesla sues former employee for allegedly stealing software code

Vehicles cross the Tesla Inc. meeting plant in Fremont, California, U.S., on Monday, May 11, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images



Tesla is suing a former employee and software engineer named Alex Khatilov, alleging commerce secret theft and breach of contract.

In the grievance, the company accuses Khatilov of grabbing code and recordsdata from WARP Drive, a back-end software system that Tesla developed to automate a spread of business processes concerned in manufacturing and promoting its automobiles. They additionally accuse him of deleting doable proof when safety groups confronted him.

Khatilov was employed to assist Tesla’s Quality Assurance staff create software that might automate duties or business processes associated to Environment, Health and Safety.

The grievance says he started working for Tesla on December 28, 2020, and virtually instantly started importing recordsdata and scripts (written in a programming language known as Python) to his Dropbox account. Tesla confronted him about his alleged theft on January sixth.

The code is of concern to Tesla as a result of it might disclose to rivals “which systems Tesla believes are important and valuable to automate and how to automate them – providing a roadmap to copy Tesla’s innovation,” the grievance says.

This is not the primary time that Tesla has sued or accused ex-employees of commerce theft. Tesla sued Guangzhi Cao for copying Autopilot supply code to his personal accounts and gadgets in late 2018. That case remains to be ongoing.

The company additionally sued former staff who wound up at different electrical and autonomous automobile companies, Rivian and Zoox, over alleged theft of mental property.

Tesla revealed within the new grievance on Friday that solely 40 individuals of about 50,000 whole staff work on the company’s Quality Assurance staff that employed Khatilov. The company additionally says it has spent an estimated “200 man-years of work” to develop the code in question.

The case is right here:



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