The tech world can be cutthroat. It must be said that there are many secrets in companies, often in the form of lines of code …
Tesla is no stranger to technology theft. Like any business that innovates, you might say. Still, this last case could be particularly cheeky if it is true. As Electrek reports, the electric vehicle maker is now suing in justice Alex Khatilov for the alleged theft of the company-designed Warp Drive software that is used to automate purchasing and other systems. The theft allegedly took place only three days after taking up his post, at the end of December 2020. Alex Khatilov allegedly copied “thousands” of Warp Drive-related script files to his personal Dropbox account .
Tesla Accuses Alex Khatilov of Stealing Warp Drive Software Scripts
The company also accuses Alex Khatilov of trying to cover up his actions. He is said to have lied when he said he only transferred personal documents when investigators questioned him. He also claimed to have “forgotten” everything about the files when he gave investigators access to his Dropbox space. The engineer even attempted to delete the Dropbox app and other files early in his interrogation, according to Tesla.
Just three days after being hired
Tesla also did not discuss the possibility that Alex Khatilov coordinated with other individuals. The brand warned, however, that it had “not discovered” all of the engineer’s actions, and that he may still be sharing files belonging to the brand. The man had to operate remotely due to the pandemic and health crisis, making it more difficult to verify that the files were deleted.
The manufacturer has been very protective of its technologies in the past, notably suing Rivian and Zoox after debauchery of employees who allegedly took company secrets with them. This is in addition to lawsuits against individuals including Martin Tripp who, in Elon Musk’s own words, is a “saboteur”. Alex Khatilov’s case, if true, will only heighten Tesla’s fears about the theft of technological secrets. If people come to the manufacturer just to steal tools, Tesla might rightly want to protect its tech even more.