Automotive technology company Valeo has filed a lawsuit against the giant graphics chip company Nvidia for a video call screen-sharing between two companies. Valeo is showing that Nvidia has ‘stolen’ data from Valeo, and also accusing Nvidia of having saved hundreds of millions of dollars from those allegedly “stolen trade secrets”.
According to the lawsuit filed by Valeo against Nvidia, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, the company’s senior staff member made this blunder while giving an online presentation to a team from his former employer Valeo. During this presentation, Moniruzzaman accidentally displayed a file from Valeo. The lawsuit was accused that he stole its tech secrets, as reported in the media.
Moniruzzaman is accused of “downloaded without authorization the entirety of Valeo’s advanced parking and driving assistance systems source code” in early 2021, alongside “scores of Valeo Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, and Excel spreadsheets,” as per the lawsuit filed by Valeo.
For over three decades, Valeo has facilitated ushering in a new era of automotive technology through innovative ideas in the advanced driving assistance system. As per the lawsuit, “The actions of one brazen former employee and the company he left Valeo to join — Nvidia — have undermined, and threaten to further undermine the many years of Valeo’s hard work and innovation.”
The lawsuit also reads, “By using Valeo’s stolen trade secrets (the former employee has been criminally convicted and a penalty order has issued for his theft), Nvidia has saved millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of dollars in development costs, and generated profits that it did not properly earn and to which it was not entitled.” It also confirmed, “So brazen was Moniruzzaman’s theft that the file path on his screen still read ValeoDocs”.
Through this lawsuit, Valeo seeks injunctive relief and recovery of the damages for Nvidia’s misconduct of data and secret embezzlement. The lawsuit asks for remedies for Moniruzzaman’s brazen misconduct and the unlawful advantages given to the other company, Nvidia, which is going to help them in the development and advancement of parking and driving assistance software.
The lawsuit also claimed, “When questioned by the German police, Mr Moniruzzaman admitted to stealing Valeo’s software and using that software while employed at Nvidia.” It added, “In fact, Mr Moniruzzaman did not deny the charge of the crime at any point during the German criminal investigation.”
The letter sent by a law firm representing Nvidia to Valeo’s attorneys claimed that the company “has no interest in Valeo’s code or its alleged trade secrets and has taken prompt concrete steps to protect your client’s asserted rights”. The letter also mentioned that Nvidia was “entirely unknown” of the actions made by Moniruzzaman. It also stated Mr. Monizruzzaman told Nvidia the code was “stored only locally on his laptop”. This information cannot be accessed by other people at the company. While many reporters approached both the companies for comments, Valeo stated their part but Nvidia declined to say anything on this matter or to make any comments on the procedure.