American electric vehicle maker Tesla on Wednesday slapped lawsuits against former employees alleging theft of trade secrets and misusing them to benefit rival start-ups after joining their workforce.

The start-ups mentioned in the complaint include Zoox and Chinese EV automaker Xiaopeng.

Tesla did not formally comment on the lawsuits.

Though the lawsuits refer to different trade secrets, there are many similarities. The common allegation is taking away sensitive information prior to leaving the company and joining rivals who are making similar vehicles.

The lawsuits seek damages for the trade secret theft. One lawsuit alleges that Zoox and four former employees of Tesla--Scott Turner, Christian Dement, Craig Emigh and Sydney Cooper of misusing Tesla’s proprietary information for boosting Zoox’s warehousing, logistics, and inventory control operations.  The lawsuit slams Zoox for “blatant and intentional” use of its proprietary technologies after wresting it from ex-staffers.

The Tesla lawsuit slams the former employees for stealing “select proprietary Tesla documents useful to their new employer,” and indicted one person particularly for using Tesla’s confidential information in targeting more Tesla staff for hiring by Zoox.

Theft of autopilot code to help a Chinese company

The second lawsuit slams former employee Guangzhi Cao for stealing the code of its Autopilot driver assistance. Cao stole highly sensitive source code before abruptly quitting the job to join XPeng, the complaint said. Tesla refers to the company as X Motors.

Guangzhi Cao reportedly copied more than 300,000 files of Autopilot source code. Autopilot is a driver assistance program handling some driving tasks but it does not make a vehicle fully autonomous.

Xiaopeng’s investors include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Foxconn Technology Co Ltd.

The lawsuit said XMotors not only introduced “Autopilot-like” features but also enrolled five former Autopilot employees of Tesla including Cao.

Tesla’s lawsuit argues Cao’s action put the company’s investment at risk.

“Tesla must learn what Cao has done with Tesla’s IP, to whom he has given it, and the extent to which Tesla has been harmed. Tesla files this lawsuit to compel the return of its valuable IP and protect it from further exploitation, and for all other relief as the facts may warrant,” the complaint noted.

The rising number of lawsuits on technology theft

There are many precedents for similar lawsuits in the industry. iPhone maker Apple had charged one of its former employees of having stolen trade secrets on its self-driving cars while joining the U.S. subsidiary of Xiaopeng, mentioned here in the Tesla lawsuit.  GettyImages-Tesla Lawsuit March 22 People look at a Tesla Motors vehicle on the showroom floor at the Dadeland Mall on February 19, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Tesla on Wednesday slapped lawsuits against many former employees alleging theft of trade secrets and using them to the benefit of rival start ups. Photo: Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc's Waymo dragged Uber Technologies to court after one of its executives joined Uber as chief of self-driving car project. Waymo accused the ex-employee of stealing confidential data and Uber was forced to pay $245 million to settle the case.