May 23, 2024

Nvidia Faces Lawsuit as Valeo Alleges Theft of Automotive Tech

Nvidia, the tech giant behind sophisticated graphics cards, has landed in a legal battle with Valeo, a leading firm in the field of car technologies.

The latter alleges the chip manufacturer of stealing information in data files, which a senior Nvidia staff member, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, accidentally exposed during a video call. This has triggered several legal consequences, with Moniruzzaman admitting the theft.

As explained in the lawsuit, the incident took place during an online presentation. Moniruzzaman, a former employee of Valeo, unintentionally displayed a file that showed the stolen secrets from Valeo.

The pilfered data contains the source code of Valeo’s driving and parking assistance software. Interestingly, Nvidia has been striving hard to expand its operations in this domain.

Lawsuit Claims the Presence Of A Dedicated Folder Of Stolen Files

The lawsuit claims that the theft by Nvidia staff was so blatant and desperate that the file path on the screen read “ValeoDocs”. This implied that the chip manufacturer had a folder dedicated to storing the stolen documents from Valeo.

According to the allegations, Moniruzzaman transferred gigabytes of data illegally from Valeo to Nvidia while he was employed in the German branch of the car tech company in 2021. Later that year, he switched jobs and moved to Nvidia.

Valeo further argues that the incident took place during a meeting with a Microsoft team in March 2022, when Moniruzzaman shared his screen during a slide presentation.

While it was an oversight for Moniruzzaman, it revealed that Nvidia had the secret files stolen from Valeo. Participants in the conference recognized the source code, taking screenshots fast enough before their former employee could fix the error.

Moniruzzaman landed in deep legal trouble, with the German authorities convicting him for unlawful retention of their data in September 2023.

Besides, the former Valeo staff admitted to stealing their data and using it while serving Nvidia. The lawsuit reads, “Mr Moniruzzaman did not deny the charge of the crime at any point during the German criminal investigation.”

His actions then prompted Valeo to drag Nvidia into the legal battle, filing a lawsuit against the company. The car tech firm accused the chip manufacturer of benefiting from the “stolen trade secrets” financially.

In using these stolen trade secrets to develop a competing product, Nvidia has diminished the value of Valeo’s trade secrets.Lawsuit

The lawsuit further accuses Nvidia of saving development costs worth millions and generating profits wrongfully.

Valeo has demanded adequate legal action through the lawsuit to prevent Nvidia from using its code. The complaint also provided details of the post-meeting audit at Valeo.

The Nvidia-owned computers have been seized by German authorities from Moniruzzaman during the criminal investigation.

It accuses Moniruzzaman of copying their source code along with “tens of thousands of files” that stored proprietary information.

On the other hand, Nvidia’s lawyers submitted a letter in June 2022 which claims that the company wasn’t aware of his actions till May 2022. This date has been mentioned in the investigation.

Moniruzzaman, on the other hand, insisted that he only stored the code locally on his laptop.

The letter also stated that Nvidia doesn’t have any interest in Valeo’s trade secrets or codes and has fully cooperated on the matter.

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