What just happened? In what has become a very familiar scenario in the tech industry, an employee was accused of stealing trade secrets from a company. In this case, Tesla claims that a former engineer stole information regarding its supercomputing platform.

- Advertisement -

bloomberg reports that in January, Tesla hired thermal engineer Alexander Yatskov to help develop cooling systems for its own supercomputer, dubbed Dojo Project. It is designed to process huge amounts of data collected from the company’s vehicles, which are used to train AI software for self-driving.

- Advertisement -

According to the filing in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Yatskov admitted to uploading sensitive information from his Tesla devices to his personal devices. Since April 6, he has been placed on administrative leave and told to turn in the devices so Tesla can retrieve the stolen information. He allegedly handed over a dummy laptop made to “look like he could only access innocuous Tesla information, like the offer letter” to try to hide his actions.

Yatskov quit on May 2 and refused to return the stolen information. He told Bloomberg he was not aware of the lawsuit.

- Advertisement -

Tesla also alleges that Yatskov lied on his resume about his knowledge and work experience and that he violated a non-disclosure agreement that the company forces all of its engineers to sign to protect its trade secrets. In addition, he is accused of sending Tesla classified information emails from his personal email address to his work email.

Tesla sues Yatskov for damages and conciliation. The company is also seeking a court decision obliging Yatskov to return secret data.

Tesla previously revealed that Dojo is powered by 5,760 GPUs delivering up to 1.8 EFLOPS (exaFLOPS) performance, along with 10 PB of NVMe storage and 1.6 TB/s connectivity. When completed, the system is expected to rank fifth in the TOP500 supercomputer list.

News broke last week that Apple suing startup Rivos for allegedly poaching engineers from Cupertino to steal their technology for use in competing chips. Uber, Opera, Motorolaand many more have been in court for former employees who stole their trade secrets.