Karma is out to get Lordstown
Another lawsuit of electric carmaker against carmaker has made it to the US courts. Karma Automotive filed a federal lawsuit against Lordstown Motors, accusing the Ohio company of theft of intellectual property, breach of contract and poaching. It is not the design this time though but pure Infotainment.
Jeff Holland, Karma’s director of communications, told the local paper The Detroit Bureau that Karma filed suit in the U.S. District Court of California. The temporary injunction over Lordstown not using any contested product was denied.
The lawsuit also charges a former Karma employee, who defected to Lordstown Motors last summer, with the sabotage of a computer system. This, of course, reminds us of Tesla who had cried sabotage (righteously) twice on the latest count. It even more strongly reminds us of Tesla suing Rivian, also over stealing trade secrets and poaching of employees.
This to the dismay of Karma, which also pointed to having worked “in good faith”. Court papers state indeed that the company had left Lordstown to try Karma’s infotainment system to see whether it would suit their Endurance pick-up truck.
Lordstown officials denied the charges, claiming the system is incompatible with its pickup and labelling the accusations a “fantasy,” The Detroit Bureau reported.
At the same time, it appears Lordstown had signed an agreement specifying that it planned to use the system developed by Karma but cancelled the project in early August.
Subsequently, Karma learned, as DTB cites court records, that its director of infotainment had defected to Lordstown. “They hired the whole team, all six people,” said Holland, which then led Karma to start the investigation that led to the lawsuit.
Whether this will delay the start of production of the new Lorsdtown Endurance at an old GM plant remains to be seen. At the presentation earlier this year in June, pictures of the interior were missing.
For Karma, they said they would go ahead with the Revero as planned and despite circulating rumours of insolvency.
Only as a fun fact, the company was facing the courts itself just this August. VLF Automotive, a Michigan-based company, filed a lawsuit against Karma in the California Supreme Court accusing them of plagiarism.