Mercedes Says an Employee Stole Trade Secrets

December 8, 2015, 4:53 PM UTC
Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix - Friday Practice
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA - MARCH 13 : Nico Rosberg (DEU) #6 from the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team is seen during the Friday Practice session at the Rolex Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia on March 13, 2015. (Photo by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Asanka Brendon Ratnayake—Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz has filed a lawsuit against an employee that accuses him of stealing confidential data from the automaker.

The automaker says the employee—a Formula 1 engineer named Benjamin Hoyle—was wrapping up his term at an engine supplier for Mercedes’ Petronas racing team and on his way to Ferrari, when he purloined its intellectual property, Bloomberg reports.

Mercedes asserts that Hoyle “searched for and saved files including a race report from the Hungary 2015 Grand Prix, mileage and damage data relating to Mercedes’ F1 engines and files containing code required to decrypt raw race data files,” Bloomberg reports.

When the automaker learned of Hoyle’s intention to join Ferrari, it pulled him off his F1 duties and restricted his access to information, according to Bloomberg. That’s when Mercedes says Hoyle began attempting to check up on private documents.

Mercedes did not immediately reply to Fortune’s request for comment, though it told Bloomberg that “Legal action is underway involving Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains Ltd. and an employee. The company has taken the appropriate legal steps to protect its intellectual property.”

Ferrari and Hoyle did not immediately reply to Fortune’s request for comment. We will update this post if we hear back.

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Bloomberg reports.