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3 Friday, July 12, 2019 05:05

Tesla is suing an ex-employee and wants Apple's help, report says - Roadshow


Enlarge ImageA former Tesla employee is being sued for stealing the source code to Teslas Autopilot and uploading it to his iCloud account. Tesla It takes serious gumption to steal from a massive multinational corporation.

But thats exactly what a lawsuit being put forth by Tesla alleges that a former employee whos now working for Chinese company Xpeng and its US-based subsidiary XMotors.ai did, according to a report published Thursday by Bloomberg.The lawsuit filed by Tesla stems alleges that former employee Guangzhi Cao stole the source code for Teslas Autopilot software.

Cao admitted to authorities that he did, in fact, download the source code, but his laywers maintain that he hasnt done anything with it.The lawsuit is especially interesting because Tesla is seeking assistance from Apple -- also a victim of IP theft from an Xpeng employee -- in getting access to the thiefs data by way of a subpoena.

According to Bloombergs report, its not totally clear what exactly Tesla is trying to get from Apple, but we suspect it involves access to documents from Guangzhi Caos iCloud account, where he admitted to storing Teslas IP.Now, it should be said that neither Tesla nor Apple has decided to go after Xpeng itself, instead focusing their efforts on the ex-employees that admitted to having made off with intellectual property.

Further, Xpeng has maintained that when it found out that Apple was investigating IP theft, it immediately froze the employee out and eventually fired him.Its not totally clear how cooperative Apple will be with Teslas requests, given that the two are now technically competitors in the race to bring real Level 4 and 5 self-driving car tech to market, but considering that Tesla is going after an employee rather than the company that hired him, were thinking its unlikely.

Neither Tesla nor Apple immediately responded to Roadshows request for comment.
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