Tesla sues an engineer for stealing 'Project Dojo' supercomputer technology

According to Bloomberg, Tesla Inc. sued a former engineer, alleging that he unlawfully downloaded proprietary knowledge about its supercomputer technology to his own computer and gave over a "dummy" laptop for examination to cover up the theft.

Tesla is creating Project Dojo, an in-house supercomputer, to cope with large volumes of data, including video from Tesla vehicles, and will utilize it to produce autonomous driving software. According to the lawsuit, Alexander Yatskov was employed in January as a thermal engineer to assist in the construction of cooling systems for the computer, which generates a lot of heat.

"These thermal designs and data are confidential and tightly guarded within Tesla,” the electric-car maker said.

However, Tesla stated that after being questioned, Yatskov acknowledged to transferring private information from his Tesla equipment to his personal devices. To try to disguise his tracks, he gave over a "dummy" computer for inspection by Tesla, according to the firm.

Yatskov resigned on May 2 and has failed to release the material, according to Tesla's complaint.

When reached by phone, Yatskov stated that he was unaware of the allegation and declined to comment.

Tesla also accused Yatskov of lying about his skills and professional experience on his résumé. He also violated a non-disclosure agreement that prohibited him from exposing trade secrets, according to Tesla.

"This is a case about illicit retention of trade secrets by an employee who, in his short time at Tesla, already demonstrated a track record of lying and then lying again by providing a ‘dummy’ device to try and cover his tracks,” Tesla said in its complaint.

Tesla is seeking compensatory and exemplary damages and an order that would stop Yatskov from disseminating its trade secrets and direct him to return all proprietary data.

The case is Tesla Inc. v. Yatskov, 5:22-cv-02725, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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