Valeo Switches and Sensors, a company specializing in the development of automotive technologies, sued NVIDIA, accusing the chipmaker of misusing data that constitutes a trade secret. According to the plaintiff, NVIDIA received its confidential data from a former employee. The latter accidentally disclosed the stolen data himself and has already been found guilty as a result of the criminal proceedings. Now Valeon has filed a lawsuit against NVIDIA.
NVIDIA hired former Valeo employee Mohammad Moniruzzaman in 2021, and before leaving his previous job, he copied a large number of files, including the source code of Valeo’s artificial intelligence parking application and other confidential documents. The criminal accidentally showed the stolen files during a joint video conference with NVIDIA and Valeo employees. The latter managed to take screenshots, on the basis of which the charges against him were substantiated, and now the case against NVIDIA is being built.
During the video chat, Moniruzzaman led the presentation and shared an image of his screen so colleagues could follow the slides. After completing the presentation, he minimized the window with the slides, after which a window with the source code of the Valeo software and the inscription ValeoDocs appeared on the screen. In 2022, a criminal case was opened against Moniruzzaman in Germany and he was convicted of illegal acquisition, use and disclosure of Valeo trade secrets.
According to the lawsuit against NVIDIA, Moniruzzaman transferred the stolen files to his computer at NVIDIA using a USB drive and shared the stolen information with other NVIDIA developers, allowing the company “accelerated the development of its first parking assistance software and saved NVIDIA millions, perhaps even hundreds of millions of dollars, in development costs“
NVIDIA declined to comment on the lawsuit. A letter from a German law firm representing NVIDIA to Valeo’s lawyers in June 2022 stated that Moniruzzaman’s actions “were completely unknown» NVIDIA until May 19, 2022, when he called the company and announced that a criminal investigation was underway against him in Germany.
The letter also states that the company “is not interested in Valeo’s code or its alleged trade secrets“and that it will cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities in the investigation of the circumstances of the case.