Automotive technology developer Valeo is suing NVIDIA after an engineer made an unfortunate mistake during a video conference, writes Bloomberg.
It was a specialist named Mohammad Moniruzzaman, who worked for Valeo’s German division but later moved to NVIDIA. In the spring of 2022, the two companies were working on a joint project for an automotive parts manufacturer.
As part of this work, representatives of Valeo and NVIDIA organized a video conference, which Mohammad Moniruzzaman joined. During the conversation, he showed the other participants of the meeting his computer screen.
However, when the specialist minimized the PowerPoint presentation, the audience saw a file with Valeo’s source code open on the computer. Valeo representatives recognized the code and took a screenshot.
It turned out that shortly before he left Valeo, the engineer had sent tens of thousands of files and 6 GB of the company’s source code to his personal email.
The German police, who searched Mohammad Moniruzzaman’s office as part of the investigation, found Valeo documents and equipment. Subsequently, a German court found the engineer guilty of violating trade secrets and ordered him to pay a $15 750 fine.
Meanwhile, NVIDIA said that it has no interest in Valeo’s code or alleged trade secrets. The company also announced its cooperation with the German investigation as part of the investigation.
However, on November 7 this year, Valeo filed a lawsuit against NVIDIA in the Federal Court in California (USA). It accuses the American giant of “unlawful advantage” due to the actions of an engineer.
“Nvidia’s attempts to take a shortcut to the marketplace by leveraging Valeo’s stolen software make costly investments in technology futile and harms innovation,” Valeo said.
Valeo was founded a hundred years ago and is a modest player in the global automotive business with annual revenues of about 20 billion euros. However, the company assures that it has invested heavily in the development of driving assistance systems. NVIDIA started working on solutions for self-driving cars relatively recently.