Thursday, November 06, 2008, 11/06/2008 09:33:00 AM

Tesla Motors Loses Trade Secrets Suit Against Fisker Automotive

By Todd
We first reported about the Tesla Motors suit against Fisker Automotive here: Well, an arbitrator has ruled on the case - and made some aggressive findings critical of Tesla Motors' claims and the lack of support for the the allegations.

Fisker Automotive said on Monday that an arbitrator found an interim award in favor of Fisker Automotive and the auto design company which had done work for Tesla last year.
Tesla's communications manager on Monday said that the company will not pursue the case because the arbitrator's ruling was binding.

The case dates back to April of this year, when Tesla Motors filed a suit against famed designer Henrik Fisker's design firm for allegedly taking confidential design information about Tesla's upcoming luxury sedan during a consulting engagement.

Fisker Automotive responded in May when it filed for arbitration. The contract between Fisker and Tesla had a clause that required that any disputes be handled through arbitration in Orange County, Calif., within 90 days, according to Fisker. Tesla filed its suit against Fisker in San Mateo Superior Court.

According to Fisker, the case's arbitrator said that "Tesla's assertion of violations of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act by Fisker were baseless and neither brought nor pursued in good faith."

Those are pretty aggressive findings from an arbitrator. That said, trade secrets cases are often difficult ones to arbitrate. As discovery is curtailed and condensed, it often proves difficult to uncover evidence the plaintiff needs that supports their suspicions and circumstantial proof.

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