U.S. self-driving car startup Zoox agrees to settle lawsuit with Tesla

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FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Model S electric vehicle is shown in San Francisco, California. U.S., April 7, 2016. Alexandria Sage/File Photo

(Reuters) – Zoox Inc said on Tuesday it had settled a lawsuit with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) after admitting that some new hires from the electric carmaker were in possession of certain Tesla documents when they joined the U.S. self-driving car startup.

Tesla lawyers filed a lawsuit in March last year against four former employees and Zoox, alleging the employees stole proprietary information and trade secrets for developing warehousing, logistics and inventory control operations.

Zoox said the settlement required it to pay Tesla an undisclosed amount and undergo an audit to ensure that none of its employees had retained or are using Tesla’s confidential information.

“Zoox acknowledges that certain of its new hires from Tesla were in possession of Tesla documents pertaining to shipping, receiving, and warehouse procedures when they joined Zoox’s logistics team,” Zoox said.

Several companies are racing to develop the technology required to make cars drive on their own and lawsuits against former employees are common as firms strive to keep proprietary information in-house.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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