During a video conference call, an engineer from Nvidia inadvertently revealed stolen robocar technology from their former employer, Valeo SE, sparking a legal battle. This incident sheds light on the global competition in the autonomous driving industry, projected to reach $400 billion by 2035. Notably, companies like Apple, Tesla, and Waymo have also faced allegations of intellectual property theft related to self-driving technology.

In response to the incident, Nvidia has denied any interest in Valeo's code or alleged trade secrets and claimed to have taken immediate steps to protect Valeo's rights. Despite this, Valeo filed a complaint in a California federal court. The engineer in question, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, was convicted of infringing business secrets in Germany and ordered to pay a fine.

Valeo alleges that Moniruzzaman, during the virtual meeting, displayed Valeo's verbatim source code on his computer screen, which was recognized by Valeo participants. Additionally, it is claimed that Moniruzzaman had transferred a significant amount of files and source code to his personal email account before leaving Valeo, and attempted to conceal this action by deleting his access to Valeo's network.

Nvidia asserts that they were unaware of the screen-sharing incident until Moniruzzaman reported being served with a summons for criminal copyright infringement. They claim that the source code in question was stored only on his personal laptop and was not shared within the company. Nvidia emphasized their efforts to avoid accessing Valeo's intellectual property.

Valeo, a long-standing player in the automotive industry, accuses Nvidia of leveraging the stolen software to gain an unfair advantage in the market, undermining their significant investments in innovation. The legal dispute between the two companies highlights the importance of protecting intellectual property and the intense competition within the autonomous driving sector.

The case, Valeo Schalter und Sensoren GmbH v. NVIDIA Corp., is ongoing in the US District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).