Tesla is suing ex-engineer Alexander Yatskov for allegedly stealing “secret and closely guarded” information related to the company’s supercomputer technology, called Project Dojo, as it was first reported. Bloomberg. at A copy of the complaintTesla accuses Yatskov of downloading information to his personal devices and refusing to return it.
Yatskov, who Tesla claims lied in his resume about his work history and skill set, began working for the electric-car maker as a thermal engineer in January and helped design the Dojo’s cooling systems. Dojo is Tesla’s neural network training computer It processes large amounts of data used to train AI software in self-driving Tesla cars. According to the complaint, Yatskov had access to Dojo’s cooling information, as well as other confidential information associated with the project.
Tesla says all engineers sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents them from disclosing or storing confidential information about the Dojo, which Tesla says Yatskov infringed by allegedly “removing confidential Tesla information from work devices and accounts, accessing it on his personal devices, and creating Tesla documents containing details of Secret Project Dojo on PC”. The company also says it discovered that Yatskoff was sending emails containing confidential information about Tesla from his personal email address to his work email.
As noted in the complaint, Tesla claims that Yatskoff admitted to storing confidential information on his personal devices when the company confronted him about the situation. Then the electric vehicle maker put Yatskov on administrative leave from April 6, 2022, and asked him to bring his devices so that Tesla could recover any stolen information. Yatskov responded by allegedly supplying Tesla with a “fake” laptop in an attempt to conceal any evidence against him. This alleged decoy does not contain any of the information in question, and is designed “to appear to have only accessed harmless Tesla information, such as an offer letter.”
Yatskov resigned from his position on 2 May. Tesla is suing Yatskov for compensatory and exemplary damages, and is also seeking a court order forcing Yatskov to return confidential information.
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