Tesla Now Accuses Rivian of Stealing Battery Tech and Employees

Tesla sued Rivian in July 2020, saying its rival was poaching employees with access to trade secrets. In August 2020, Rivian filed a motion asking the lawsuit to be dismissed alleging the accusations were unsubstantiated and false. In March 2021, the motion's refusal allowed Tesla to move forward. On September 28, a judge allowed Tesla to broaden the case.
Rivian Manufacturing Process 8 photos
Photo: Rivian
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According to Superior Court Judge Peter Manoukian, the company is authorized to bring more allegations to the case at this point. However, he also made it clear that the company has to prove these accusations have facts to support them.

Rivian said that Tesla did not sufficiently specify which proprietary information Rivian would have infringed. It also stated that there’s so little detail to some of these alleged infringements that Rivian is not even sure they are a secret or not.

Bloomberg revealed that Tesla’s new allegations were followed by remarks about Rivian that are no longer valid. Tesla would have stated that Rivian’s reasons to intensify its “unlawful efforts” would be that it is “under pressure from investors after nearly a dozen years without producing a single commercial vehicle.” The startup has started R1T deliveries in September.

Tesla would have also said that Rivian is after its “next-generation” batteries, meaning it wants the 4680 cells Tesla is yet to deliver. Rivian currently uses batteries supplied by Samsung SDI. They would be in the 2170 format, but there’s no official confirmation about that. Tesla developed 2170 cells with Panasonic for the Model 3.

Regarding the accusation that it is poaching Tesla talent to obtain trade secrets, Rivian said it has a process to ensure new employees are not bringing information from competitors. The lawsuit will help answer who is right in their allegations, although it will probably happen just after Rivian completes its IPO process.
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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