Rivian Says Tesla's Lawsuit Is Just A Smear Campaign

Industry News / Comments

The electric carmaker has requested that the suit be dismissed.

Late last month, Tesla sued Rivian, one of its main electric vehicle automaker rivals, accusing it of poaching employees and stealing sensitive trade secrets. Rivian immediately denied the accusations and now it has responded in a court of law.

Rivian has asked a judge in the California Superior Court in Santa Clara to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that two out of the three claims Tesla made are not only inaccurate but are really just an attempt to damage its reputation and make recruiting industry talent more difficult. Tesla sued four of its former employees after they jumped ship to Rivian and it's likely those individuals will also counter Tesla's claims with their own separate responses.

In its filing, Rivian reiterated it has "rigorous policies and procedures to make sure it does not obtain confidential information from other companies when on-boarding employees."

Front Angle View Rivian
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Rear View Driving Rivian

Furthermore, Rivian states that none of the alleged trade secrets Tesla specified are in its possession or in any of its systems. Rivian's bottom line court argument is this: Tesla's lawsuit did not provide any concrete facts pertaining to intellectual property theft by way of poaching employees or any other method. In other words, Tesla is purely speculating and, therefore, has no legal ground to sue.

"In particular, the Court should not credit as true speculation of the kind scattered throughout Tesla's complaint," Rivian said in the filing. But Rivian didn't stop there in its response.

It's also arguing Tesla really didn't file its lawsuit over protecting its technology and other trade secrets, but rather it was an "improper and malicious attempt to slow" Rivian's industry momentum and hurt its brand as it gets closer to launching its first model, the Rivian R1T, a direct competitor to the also upcoming Tesla Cybertruck.

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Dashboard Rivian
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Front Angle View Rivian
Front Angle View Rivian

Rivian further claims that Tesla wants to scare its own employees from even considering the idea of leaving the company for a rival, such as Rivian. Rivian called into question the timing of Tesla's lawsuit. Why? Because it had just secured another $2.5 billion in funding, in addition to the $500 million and $700 million investments from Ford and Amazon, respectively.

Clearly, Rivian views Tesla's lawsuit as nothing but a big attempt to discredit a credible rival by way of speculation and a lack of concrete facts. Tesla has yet to respond to Rivian's latest move.

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Rear Angle View Rivian
Rear Angle View Rivian
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