Alphabet Inc. vs. Uber: Waymo Asks Court To Stop Uber On Self-driving Technology

By Jeff Thompson - 11 Mar '17 06:29AM
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  • (Photo : Bill Pugliano/Getty) Waymo is upset with the fact that its former employee joined the rival.

Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc. has sought a court order to stop Uber Technologies from the latter's advances in self-driving car technology. Waymo accuses that Uber is using the technology that is stolen from them. The temporary injunction was filed in a federal court based in San Francisco on Friday.

Waymo, Google's self-deriving project, has already sued Uber stating that former Waymo employee, and the current head of self-driving-car division at Uber, Anthony Levandowski downloaded at least 14,000 confidential files which contained major details of the firm's autonomous technology. Waymo accuses that the download was shortly before Levandowski resigned from the firm in January 2016. The downloaded details contained highly advanced LiDAR system as well. Later, Levandowski founded his self-driving car firm named Otto, and Uber acquired it in August last year for $680 million. Waymo alleged that the technology is using by Uber is stolen by Levandowski and initially filed a lawsuit and now the firm further demanded for a court order to stop Uber from continuing with it.

"Competition in technologies should be coming from labs and through innovation, and it shouldn't be from unethical actions," a Waymo spokesperson stated regarding the filing. "Since we have strong evidence to prove that this is actually our intellectual property, and it is developed by our engineers by their years of hard work, we request the court to protect the IP." The lawsuit filed last months asked for a jury trial, permanent injunctive relief, and monetary damages. The court hearing is currently scheduled for April 27.

In replying to the new complaint, an Uber spokesperson responded that the firm was going through it. "We are extremely happy with the advancement in self-driving technology that our team made. We have gone through the complaint given by Waymo and can say that it is an attempt to slow down our efforts, and we are working on to take them on the court. We will strive our efforts in self-deriving technology to bring the benefits to the world," Uber responded in a statement.

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