NVIDIA is facing a lawsuit filed by French automotive company Valeo. The lawsuit stems from a screensharing mishap by an NVIDIA employee that revealed source code files. In 2022, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, an engineer for NVIDIA, inadvertently showed the code during a meeting with Valeo, allowing Valeo to take screenshots before the mistake was discovered.
The two companies had previously collaborated on a parking and driving assistance technology. Valeo used to be responsible for both the software and hardware aspects of the technology, but in 2021, NVIDIA won the contract for the software. Valeo claims that Moniruzzaman, a former employee, recognized the potential value of his access to Valeo’s proprietary technologies and subsequently stole “tens of thousands of files” and 6GB of source code.
When Moniruzzaman left Valeo for a senior position at NVIDIA, he allegedly took the stolen information with him. Valeo claims that the German police found stolen documentation and hardware in Moniruzzaman’s possession and that he was convicted of infringement of business secrets in a German court. NVIDIA denies interest in Valeo’s code and alleged trade secrets, but Valeo maintains that the company profited from the stolen information and incurred development costs that it did not properly earn.
This incident underscores the fierce competition in the autonomous driving market. It evokes comparisons to the 2017 case in which Waymo accused Uber of conspiring with a former employee to steal confidential design files. The former employee, Anthony Levandowski, was ultimately sentenced to prison but later pardoned by then President Donald Trump.