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Manufacturing Risk Advisor - July 2018 - July 2018

Former Tesla Engineer Sued for Alleged Theft of Intellectual Property


Auto manufacturer Tesla recently sued former employee Martin Tripp for allegedly stealing gigabytes worth of intellectual property and making false claims about Tesla’s manufacturing processes. However, Tripp claims that he was attempting to call attention to dangerous practices at the company.

According to Tesla, Tripp created software to steal photos and videos of manufacturing systems and send the information to third parties. The company also alleges that he falsely told journalists that Tesla installs punctured batteries in its vehicles and wastes large amounts of resources.

Although this case only came to light recently, it serves to highlight the importance of protecting intellectual property. Call (619) 297-3160 today for more information on protecting your proprietary information with insurance and cyber security best practices.

How Recent Trade Developments Impact Manufacturing


The Trump administration has continued to set new policies and negotiate trade deals in an effort to support U.S. businesses. However, international reactions and rising prices have had a mixed impact on manufacturers.

Here are some overviews of recent trade developments and their impact on domestic businesses:

  • Steel and aluminum tariffs—The United States has placed a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Because imports from countries like Canada—the largest U.S. supplier of steel and aluminum—now cost more, manufacturers face higher prices that they may have to push onto consumers. Additionally, many countries have responded to the tariffs by raising taxes on U.S. goods.
  • Tariffs on Chinese goods—The Trump administration has ordered 25 percent tariffs on over $200 billion worth of Chinese imports in response to allegations that China frequently steals intellectual property and forces foreign businesses to trade their technology. The Chinese government has placed similar tariffs on U.S. imports. As a result, manufacturers that import or export goods affected by the tariffs may see significant price increases.