Tesla Sues Former Software Automation Engineer For Allegedly Stealing Proprietary Information

Despite all the efforts to keep its technology safe, some of the valuable information about Tesla has been allegedly stolen by a former employee. The electric vehicle manufacturer had hired a software automation engineer in early January. However, it immediately fired the engineer for allegedly stealing some valuable information related to its Wrap Drive software. The company said that the data stolen by Alex Khatilov was used to make many processes automated. Tesla has now sued the employee. In a court filing, the company said that Khatilov downloaded thousands of files to his Dropbox. These files were associated with the automation of business processes like product planning, supply chain, inventory, and many more. Tesla said that files were almost ‘200 man-years of work.’

Tesla has its own backend software and the company alleged that the software engineer stole system scripts and code files present in the computer. The complete complaint filed in the US District Court is now doing rounds on several media platforms. According to the complaint, the engineer initially said that he only transferred those files. But later claimed that he forgot about other files. Following this, Tesla pressurized him to delete all the information related to the company from the Dropbox account. But the EV manufacturer still sued him.

Khatilov said that he was not aware of it and what is construed as theft was totally ‘unintentional.’ The former Tesla employee said that he had no idea that over 25K files were transferred to his personal account. “I deleted everything as instructed by Tesla,” he said. This is not the first time when Tesla has accused an employee of stealing secrets. It has sued several engineers in the past. The company once sued an engineer for involvement in Autopilot data that made way to Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer XPeng. Tesla recently sued electric vehicle startup Rivian. It said that a former employee joined the electric truck maker with very crucial information about Tesla.