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Zoox And Tesla Settle Theft Of Confidential Documents Lawsuit Out Of Court

Tesla is agreeing to settle a lawsuit it initiated against Zoox and four former employees out of court. In the settlement, Zoox will pay Tesla an undisclosed amount among other agreed reparations.


Zoox, an electric self-driving vehicle startup, albeit secretive, has been developing a fully electric and autonomous vehicle. Tesla’s lawsuit against Zoox surprisingly has nothing to do with self-driving technology.


Instead, the lawsuit alleges theft of “proprietary information and trade secrets” by four former employees before they joined Zoox.


In a joint statement regarding the settlement, both companies said:


“Tesla and Zoox have reached a settlement of Tesla’s lawsuit against Zoox. Under the settlement, Zoox will make a monetary payment to Tesla and will undergo an audit of its systems to ensure that no Zoox employees have retained or are using Tesla’s confidential information.


“Zoox acknowledges that certain of its new hires from Tesla were in possession of Tesla documents pertaining to shipping, receiving, and warehouse procedures when they joined Zoox’s logistics team, and Zoox regrets the actions of those employees.


“As part of the settlement, Zoox will also conduct enhanced confidentiality training to ensure that all Zoox employees are aware of and respect their confidentiality obligations.”

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Prior to the settlement, Tesla had given incriminating evidence in its case against Zoox. The evidence detailed how four former Tesla employees had stolen confidential documents before they joined Zoox.


Zoox Tesla Settle Lawsuit
An autonomous concept vehicle developed by Zoox.
Tesla’s incriminating evidence

“Just before departing Tesla for Zoox, Defendant Turner – a manager in Tesla’s Newark, California Regional Distribution Center – emailed two confidential Tesla documents to his personal email address, with only the words “you sly dog you…” in the body of the email.


“Similarly, shortly before his own departure from Tesla, Defendant Dement – a former warehouse supervisor – sent four confidential Tesla documents to his personal email account, with the subject line “Good Stuff.”


“After Defendant Emigh joined Zoox, he mistakenly sent an email to Cooper’s old Tesla email address, attaching a modified version of a Tesla proprietary document, freshly-emblazoned with the Zoox logo, yet still bearing the layout, design, and other vestiges of the Tesla version – showing, without doubt, that the Defendants are actively using the Tesla information they stole.”


Neither Zoox nor the four employees actively disputed the case in court. Zoox had raised $800 million and $200 million in 2018 and 2019 respectively. This funding will now likely aid its efforts to break free from the stigma the case has caused.


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Kolawole Awolope

Passionate about talking, passionate about talking tech.

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