SolarCity sued by Cogenra Solar and Khosla Ventures

September 26, 2016 10:04 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO -- Elon Musk, Chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla Motors, speaks at SolarCity?s Inside Energy Summit in Manhattan, New York October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi/File Photo


Find out which companies are about to raise their dividend well before the news hits the Street with StreetInsider.com's Dividend Insider Elite. Sign-up for a FREE trial here.

(Reuters) - Elon Musk's SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) has been accused of intellectual property theft by Cogenra Solar Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR), and Khosla Ventures.

In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Monday, the parties accused SolarCity of gaining undue advantage of Cogenra's Shingling technology that helps in manufacturing high-efficiency commercially viable solar panels.

SolarCity and its subsidiary Silevo misappropriated Cogenra's trade secrets, manufacturing processes, and other intellectual property to give themselves a competitive advantage and head start in developing shingled-cell solar modules, Cogenra said in the lawsuit.

SolarCity said that last week it discovered that a former SolarCity employee had unlawfully downloaded confidential information, copied that information to a personal hard drive, and then joined SunPower as a senior sales manager.

"Any unauthorized copying and use of this information is a very serious violation of SolarCity's intellectual property rights so we immediately notified SunPower," SolarCity said in a statement.

Cogenra's complaint fails to identify any actual trade secret that Cogenra owns, much less that SolarCity supposedly misappropriated, SolarCity said.

From 2009 to 2015, venture capital firm Khosla Ventures owned about 80 percent of Cogenra, the lawsuit stated.

Last week Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) said its proposed acquisition of SolarCity could be delayed because of shareholder lawsuits alleging board members breached their fiduciary duty.

United States District Court Northern District Of California

San Francisco Division, Case number 3:16-cv-05481.

(Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)



Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!

You May Also Be Interested In






Related Categories

Reuters

Related Entities

Tesla, Definitive Agreement

Add Your Comment