The lawsuit, filed with the Superior Court of California in the County of Santa Clara, says that the dispute stems from "Rivian’s efforts to misappropriate Tesla’s trade secret, confidential, and proprietary information by recruiting Tesla employees and encouraging them to take such information as they leave Tesla."
"Tesla brings this suit to remedy the misappropriation of its trade secret, confidential, and proprietary information."
The court documents list the defendants as Tami Pascale, Kim Wong, Jessica Siron, Carrington Bradley, and Rivian Automotive, INC.
According to LinkedIn, Tami Pascale is senior manager of talent acquisition at Rivian. She took on the role in July of 2020, having previously worked for Tesla as a senior manager of leadership recruiting beginning in May 2016.
Jessica Siron became director of EHS at Rivian in May 2020, after working for Tesla as EHS manager between November 2018 and April 2020.
Carrington Bradley has been the senior manager of charging deployment at Rivian since March 2020. He worked for Tesla between July 2013, and March 2020.
A Kim Wong is still employed as a staff recruiter at Tesla according to her LinkedIn account, however this may be outdated. She has worked for the company since November of 2019.
The court documents also show that a case management hearing is scheduled for 17 November 2020.
Above: the Rivian R1S 1
Rivian Automotive is an electric vehicle manufacturer backed by an array of investors that includes Ford, Amazon, and a firm owned by billionaire George Soros.
Three new models - the R1T ute, R1S SUV, and Amazon electric van - are expected to launch into the US market in 2021.
CarAdvice has approached Tesla and Rivian for comment regarding the lawsuit.
In a 2014 statement posted to Tesla's website, company CEO Elon Musk expressed his support for open-source technology sharing in the EV community, and explicitly said that “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
“We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform,” Musk continued.
“Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”