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Tesla is suing a former employee for stealing his own software code

Illustration for an article titled Tesla sues former employee for alleged theft of patented software code

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Tesla reportedly takes one of its former employees to court for stealing information about the company and breach of contract CNBC reports.

According to a court trial filed on Friday, Tesla claims that software engineer Alex Hatilov quietly used software code and files from Tesla’s internal Warp Drive system while working on the company. quality asecurity team The complaint states that he started working for the company in December and a few days later began sending “thousands of highly confidential software files” to his personal Dropbox account.

Tesla’s Warp Drive software is an internal system developed internally to automate many of the business processes involved in the production and sale of automobiles. The company claims that the stolen material could potentially reveal to competitors “which systems Tesla considers important and valuable for automation and how to automate them – providing a roadmap for copying Tesla’s innovations,” according to the lawsuit. The code took about 200 man-years to develop, Tesla said.

When confronted by Tesla investigators on January 6, Khatilov claimed that he had simply “forgotten” that he had transferred the files to his personal Dropbox. He further developed in a New York Post interview that it was all a misunderstanding.

Hatilov said he was instructed to download the files to his computer as he would work with them as part of his work with Tesla’s QA team, which includes help automating tasks related to the environment, health and safety systems. the company. When he tried to back up a folder containing internal document cache, he “inadvertently” moved it to his Dropbox by mistake.

“I didn’t know there were 26,000 files there,” he told the store. He did not even know that Tesla had filed a lawsuit against him until the Post Office contacted him.

Honestly, it’s not hard to believe. Tesla fiercely defends his own data and has a history of litigation when he gets the slightest hint that his secret sauce may be at risk. Tesla blamed another former employee, Guanji Cao, for stealing source code related to his Autopilot system in 2018, and this case is still pending in court. Tesla has also filed a lawsuit against the self-driving launch Zoox in 2019 and the manufacturer of electric cars Rivian in 2020 for trade secret compensation claims. In April last year, Zoox negotiated an undisclosed amount with Tesla and acknowledged that “some of Tesla’s new employees” have Tesla’s internal documents.

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