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Elon Musk’s SolarCity Corp. Facing Intellectual Property Lawsuit

Competitors have indicted solar technology powerhouse, SolarCity Corp., on charges of misappropriating trade secrets and intellectual property theft.

Cogenra Solar Inc. and Khosla Ventures levied the major lawsuit against Elon Musk’s company. The suit accuses SolarCity of misusing Cogenra’s manufacturing processes, trade secrets, and other intellectual property to give itself a head start in developing shingled-cell solar modules over competitors.

The lawsuit is halting Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, as the company is currently facing other lawsuits from four separate shareholders. Cogenra alleges that it shared confidential information with Silevo Inc.—later acquired by SolarCity—and the company subsequently began filing patent applications for technology that Cogenra alleges they developed. Now, Sun Power—the company that came to acquire Cogenra—is going after its fair share of profit and credit for the technology.

Musk vehemently denies any allegations of misappropriation. SolarCity even released a statement that a former employee copied confidential information onto a personal hard drive and later joined Sun Power as a senior sales manager. Both plaintiffs raising the lawsuit claim this information is false.

Theft of trade secrets is a crime and punishable by law. If you believe your intellectual property has been misappropriated by a competitor, contact Williams Hart at (713) 230-2200.

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