Tesla Dojo trade secrets lawsuit officially settles out of court

Credit: Tim Zaman/Twitter

A lawsuit between Tesla and a previous engineer regarding the misappropriation of classified information has now settled out of court.

Tesla’s Dojo AI training project may be among the most ambitious in the automotive industry. By creating one of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet, Tesla aims to train its autonomous driving AI at a rate that any of its nearest competitors cannot match. Now, a lawsuit that began late last year regarding the potential leak of secret information from the project has been settled outside of court, according to a new report from Reuters.

The lawsuit between Tesla and its previous thermal engineer Dr. Alexander Yatskov revolved around the alleged breach of a non-disclosure agreement, which Dr. Yatskov had entered when the automaker hired him in January 2022. The engineer resigned in May of that same year. Subsequently, Tesla alleges that Dr. Yatskov broke this agreement by downloading confidential material to his personal computer.

According to new court documents submitted this morning, the two parties have now reached an agreement in which Dr. Yatskov will pay Tesla an undisclosed amount of money. Other terms of the agreement and numerous further case details have not yet been made public. Neither Tesla nor Dr. Yatskov has publicly commented since the settlement was announced.

This settlement follows a lengthy court battle last year, in which the engineer hoped to keep the case within the federal court, allowing him to defend himself publically. Nonetheless, the San Francisco judge ruled that the disagreement would be sent to arbitration in August last year.

In his defense, Dr. Yatskov claims that, while he downloaded confidential information to his personal computer, he only did so to work at home. As much of the case and the subsequent arbitration has remained confidential, it remains unclear if Tesla also alleges that the engineer either shared or transferred this data to an outside party. This claim was not included in the documents published today.

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Tesla Dojo trade secrets lawsuit officially settles out of court
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