Tesla, Rivian in court over trade secrets

ajdelange

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Funny. I was thinking that too. But if there is any truth to this, and where there is smoke there is often fire, I have to sau RJ Scaringe is somewhat diminished in my eyes too. But having been through something like this I know that it's how business is done today.

In other news:

"Tesla’s lawsuit against former employee Martin Tripp has taken an unusual turn.

After publishing a large number of documents and videos online over the last week, including many under a confidentiality order in the case, Tripp has now fired his lawyers and will represent himself moving forward. Notably, this action coincided with the revelation that a TSLA short seller, The Funicular Fund, LP (dba Cable Car Capital LLC), was financing Tripp’s legal defense."

This guy is not one of the Rivian hires.

Employees do leave companies and take everything they can with them.
 
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Jehorton

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Funny. I was thinking that too. But if there is any truth to this, and where there is smoke there is often fire, I have to sau RJ Scaringe is somewhat diminished in my eyes too. But having been through something like this I know that it's how business is done today.
What makes you feel that RJ is diminished over this?
 

ajdelange

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Well obviously if any of it is true Rivian is culpable and he is at the helm of Rivian. He may well have known about it. Will anyone think it is another example of "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" But he may be pure as the driven snow in this. The president of my company was as straight and honest a man as I ever met. When an employee of a competitor approached him and offered to come to work for us he was told "Don't bring even a pencil." But the guy did anyway and the reult was a real mess. A whole year's profit went to the lawyers. We were completely exonerated in the end but it was as much because of the incompetence of the Justice Department (yes, the offended party tried to turn it into a criminal case) as the facts. What a mess! It did not improve my boss's or the company's reputation. We went from "above all that" to "just another turd in the cesspool".
 

Jehorton

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Well obviously if any of it is true Rivian is culpable and he is at the helm of Rivian. He may well have known about it. Will anyone think it is another example of "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" But he may be pure as the driven snow in this. The president of my company was as straight and honest a man as I ever met. When an employee of a competitor approached him and offered to come to work for us he was told "Don't bring even a pencil." But the guy did anyway and the reult was a real mess. A whole year's profit went to the lawyers. We were completely exonerated in the end but it was as much because of the incompetence of the Justice Department (yes, the offended party tried to turn it into a criminal case) as the facts. What a mess! It did not improve my boss's or the company's reputation. We went from "above all that" to "just another turd in the cesspool".
But what you just mentioned shows that there was no fault of your company. And hopefully the same goes for Rivian
 

ajdelange

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Well I hope so too. But as the truth will never be known Rivian is going to get smudged. If you want to paint Elon as the bad guy you will call attention to the fact that the company that launches the legal action, knowing this, often does it with the intention of besmirching the other company's reputation rather than recovering some real or imagined monetary damage. I'd prefer to think of both Scaringe and Musk as innocent Henrys but they are both successful business men and in today's times I fear that would not be a realistic assessment.
 

Babbuino

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It doesn't belong in this thread, but I just remembered that Rivian trucks can share their juice to other evs. If Tesla keeps trying to sue Rivian, i may think twice about sharing my battery to a possible tesla owner that run out of juice in the middle of the road ... jk of course.
 

Coast2Coast

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Rivian is recruiting big-time. Naturally, it wants people with BEV experience and people with BEV experience want to move to Rivian, especially if they're disgruntled.

Changing employers is natural, even desirable. You might even call it the Silicon Valley way, as it's how talent and technology move in this day and age, especially in technology startups. Changing employers motivates people and moves technologies.

California doesn't enforce non-compete agreements, even when a former employer reasonably believes that a former employee will use prior confidences as a necessary part of performing his or her job. This has been litigated repeatedly, and non-compete clauses are not enforced. But, this doesn't mean it's okay for folks to leave companies with data and intellectual property.

RJ seems like an ethical, upstanding guy, but he doesn't do the hiring. Nonetheless, as CEO, he's responsible. Rivian undoubtedly has strict policies against bringing intellectual property from a former employer, but this doesn't mean it can't and won't happen.

Rivian is a rising star. Amazon, Ford, Cox, Fidelity invest there, people want to work there, and we want their trucks. The higher Rivian's star rises, the more likely there will be disputes like this one and the greater the efforts on the part of established companies to prevent the flow of resources to rising stars. It's the way of the world or at least the way of the world in high-tech startups.
 

Coast2Coast

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I'd like to add a post to the topic. Top talent in the auto industry, especially in the high-tech, BEV focused end of the auto industry is hard to come by and getting harder to come by day by day. GM just lost its star CFO to an ePayments startup in San Francisco, and Alex Archer, as we know, moved from GM to Rivian. Here's a story about GM's Suryadevara moving to Stripe.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/13/dep...ng-brain-drain-problem-for-auto-industry.html

In short, the battle for top talent is not just long standing but it's also heating up.

No one knows how many Tesla folks have moved to Rivian, but it's likely to be far larger than the number moving the other way, even though Tesla is a much, much larger company. As someone said earlier, Tesla's suit against Rivian is probably an effort to stem the tide to talent flow to Rivian.

Talented people are the most valuable intellectual property and their flow is going Rivian's way.
 

electruck

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In short, the battle for top talent is not just long standing but it's also heating up.
...Tesla's suit against Rivian is probably an effort to stem the tide to talent flow to Rivian.
Not just to Rivian but also to Lucid, Fisker, Nikola, Zoox and any others from the ever growing list of companies in the EV and AD spaces including legacy players such as GM, Ford, VW, etc. The EV/AD market is really growing and this is going to make talent retention even harder for Tesla who has been struggling with talent retention for many years already.
 

thrill

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Not just to Rivian but also to Lucid, Fisker, Nikola, Zoox and any others from the ever growing list of companies in the EV and AD spaces including legacy players such as GM, Ford, VW, etc. The EV/AD market is really growing and this is going to make talent retention even harder for Tesla who has been struggling with talent retention for many years already.
I'm sure Tesla's attorneys are already billing overtime figuring out how to suppress that brain drain.
 

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Has anyone else run across this article? It popped up in my news feed last week.

https://blnnews.com/2020/08/21/rivian-lawsuit-2/

Adding to this thread because it is lawsuit related, but also relevant to the Long Way Up thread.

I don't have a strong opinion about the article, just wanted to share the interesting details about how things "allegedly" played out. Hard to speculate one way or the other.
 

electruck

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Has anyone else run across this article? It popped up in my news feed last week.

https://blnnews.com/2020/08/21/rivian-lawsuit-2/

Adding to this thread because it is lawsuit related, but also relevant to the Long Way Up thread.

I don't have a strong opinion about the article, just wanted to share the interesting details about how things "allegedly" played out. Hard to speculate one way or the other.
Yeah, saw that one and chose to ignore it. I don't put a lot of stock in the allegations of a single disgruntled ex-employee.
 

ohmman

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So the way I read the complaint is more about employees leaving Tesla for Rivian with lists of other current employees. The IP seems to be related to these lists of employees and their expertise/positions/etc.

From the posted article above:

The complaint from Tesla states that Tami Pascale, a former Senior Staffing Manager for Tesla, “took at least ten confidential and proprietary documents from Tesla’s network, which would allow Rivian to poach Tesla’s highest-performing talent and promising employment prospects.”
While I’ve been slightly disgruntled with Tesla as a company as of late, this is absolutely a valid complaint. And it appears they found the documents on her computer and she has admitted to it.

This is different than Rivian just putting out postings for BEC expertise and having Tesla employees apply.
 

DucRider

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So the way I read the complaint is more about employees leaving Tesla for Rivian with lists of other current employees. The IP seems to be related to these lists of employees and their expertise/positions/etc.

From the posted article above:



While I’ve been slightly disgruntled with Tesla as a company as of late, this is absolutely a valid complaint. And it appears they found the documents on her computer and she has admitted to it.

This is different than Rivian just putting out postings for BEC expertise and having Tesla employees apply.
The lawsuit depends on Rivian requesting/encouraging the taking of info (and proving they were complicit) vs someone knowing they were starting a new job and taking info they thought would help them succeed in their new position. With various shades of gray possible in between.
 

ohmman

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The lawsuit depends on Rivian requesting/encouraging the taking of info (and proving they were complicit) vs someone knowing they were starting a new job and taking info they thought would help them succeed in their new position. With various shades of gray possible in between.
For sure. But it seems they have at least a case against the individual(s) who took the info, and at most a case against Rivian if it's endemic to the group that has come over from Tesla (implying that perhaps it was coordinated with Rivian). Likewise if Rivian chose to use the stolen information, which would make them complicit to some degree.

I'd prefer that Rivian has no fault in this matter, to be clear. Hopefully that's the outcome. But if they do, I won't excuse it away as just business as usual, either.
 

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