Tesla Inc. can move forward with a lawsuit claiming that Rivian Automotive Inc. stole its trade secrets with the help of former employees of the electric car maker.
In a tentative ruling Monday, Santa Clara, Calif., Superior Court Judge William Monahan declined Rivian’s request to throw out a misappropriation of trade secrets claim. Monahan agreed to dismiss Rivian’s intentional interference in contract claim, saying the trade secrets part covered that.
The judge also declined to dismiss Tesla’s claims against seven of its former employees, all of whom the carmaker accuses of divulging trade secrets when they went to work for the rival startup.
Tesla claimed in its lawsuit, filed in July, that Rivian had hired at least 178 of its former employees.
Rivian denies any wrongdoing and says Tesla’s lawsuit is an effort to kill competition in the electric car industry, which Tesla dominates.
The case is Tesla Inc. v. Rivian Automotive Inc., 20CV368472, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County (San Jose).