Self-driving startup Zoox settles with Tesla over trade secret theft

It acknowledged that new hires took Tesla documents.

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HONOLULU, UNITED STATES - 2020/03/05: Tesla Model S electric vehicle seen at a Tesla store. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tesla has prevailed in a key lawsuit over trade secret theft. Self-driving car startup Zoox has settled with Tesla and acknowledged that some of its new logistics recruits “were in possession of Tesla documents” that covered shipping and warehouse processes. Zoox agreed to both pay an unmentioned amount to Tesla and go through an audit to make sure no employees were holding on to or using Tesla data.

The autonomous driving field has been fiercely competitive, with frequent job swaps, acquisitions and allegations of trade secret theft — see the drama between Waymo and Uber as an example. Zoox alone had over 100 ex-Tesla employees as of spring 2019. It won’t be surprising if these kinds of lawsuits continue, at least until the self-driving space is relatively mature.

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