The fierce competition between automakers determined Waymo to fill a lawsuit against Uber’s autonomous car project. This race of developing electric cars needs lawyers’ help to calm the spirits. On March 10, in a district court in San Francisco, attorneys for Waymo, Google’s electric car spinoff filed a lawsuit against Uber. The reason is that Google assumes that Uber has stolen their technology.
Waymo had initially filed the preliminary injunction against Uber last month. Anthony Levandowski, a former member of Google, managed to grow using 14,000 trade secrets and confidential documents when founding his own company, Otto. This company represented a startup for Uber which decided to purchase it for $680 million six months after it was established.
Thus, now, a particular car part, namely the lidar used by Uber which is a sensor that helps the electric car sense anything around it, appears to be like the one developed by Waymo. That is why Alphabet’s Waymo decided to fill this lawsuit to make justice. Waymo engineers claim that both their company and Uber share a third party supplier which accidently emailed Waymo instead of sending the email to Uber.
That means that Uber is now sued for secret theft, unfair competitive advantage, and patent infringement. The injunction filed by Waymo claims that Google’s Waymo demands its tech parts back. Courtland Reichman, a lawyer with the firm McKool Smith that works on intellectual property cases, argued that Waymo made a confident and intelligent move.
Based on the injunction, Waymo asks Judge William Alsup, who is coordinating the case, forcing Uber to give them back those 14,000 lifted files. Reichman stated that this might be Waymo’s easiest get, although Judge William Alsup may want to keep the documents until the case is closed. Moreover, the lawyers of Waymo request that the judge should ask Uber to stop using the lidar sensor systems and the circuit board because this technology represents the outcome of stolen trade secrets.
What is more, Waymo demands that the judge should temporarily forbid Uber from using any car part or technology which might be derived from the patents of Waymo. All these requests are bound to impair the functionality and efforts of Uber’s autonomous car project. Reichman argued that Google’s Waymo has many things to prove.
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