(Yicai Global) Dec. 22 -- Baidu Inc. [Nasdaq:BIDU] lodged a lawsuit today against Wang Jin and his US-based company Xtecher, alleging he has infringed on the search engine giant's trade secrets.
Wang was previously senior-vice president and general manager of its driverless car division and is accused of using expertise gleaned from Baidu in powering his new venture.
They sought an injunction banning Xtecher and Wang from using the company's technical advancements to develop autonomous vehicle related businesses in direct competition with Baidu. The firm has filed a claim charging that USD7.6 million (CNY50 million) be paid in compensation to cover losses, a public apology be made by the defendants and that they bear all legal costs.
The case has already been brought before Beijing's Intellectual Property court, Netease reported.
Wang Jin joined Baidu in April 2010. During his tenure, he set up Baidu's Mobile Cloud division, its Big Data department, and most pertinently, worked on Baidu Brain, an artificial intelligence research facility centered on the Institute of Deep Learning (IDL).
Wang was also in charge of the management of autonomous driving research and development and commercialization teams.
As the general manager of the automated driving division, he oversaw autonomous driving related operations and human resource management at Baidu and its affiliates, putting him in direct and indirect contact with the company's business partners and clients, public data shows.
Baidu announced in an internal email dated March 1 that a new business division, Intelligent Driving Group (IDG), would be established by integrating existing businesses and resources, and that senior vice president would no longer work as the driving automation general manager due to personal reasons.
In early April, Wang appeared at China IT Summit as the founder and chief executive of Xtecher. His company has completed a USD30 million angel round led by China Growth Capital, and a pre-A funding round of USD52 million led by Qiming Venture Partners.