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Waymo Sues Uber Over Stolen Technology

By FSM NewsStock MarketsFeb 24, 2017 08:23AM ET
Waymo Sues Uber Over Stolen Technology
By FSM News   |  Feb 24, 2017 08:23AM ET
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Google’s Self-Driving Tech Company Subsidiary Waymo Filed A Lawsuit Against Taxi Service And Online Transport Company Uber, Along With Its Driverless Car Subsidiary Otto. Waymo Pressed Charges Against Uber With The Claims Of The Stolen Self-Driving Car Tech And Usage Of Said Tech To Uber’s Own Cars.

The venture of completing and commercializing self-driving cars has been a target set by most big car companies like Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (T:7201), Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (DE:BMWG), Toyota Motor Corp Ltd Ord (NYSE:TM), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Uber, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Honda Motor Company Ltd (NYSE:HMC). Due to this, most companies are racing to develop the best and first really functioning AI tech and other robotics needed in completing the entire driverless car.

On Thursday, Google’s parent company Alphabet filed a lawsuit against Otto and parent company Uber, a well-known online transport and taxi service company. Uber was accused with charges unlawful misappropriation of trade secrets, patent infringement, and unfair competition.

Lawsuit Details

The suit was filed after Waymo was able to confirm its suspicion of Uber allegedly using former Google employee’ stolen tech from the company through an accidentally sent email titled “OTTO FILES.”
The unexpected email contained an attachment – meant to be sent to Otto by one of Waymo’s suppliers of LiDAR components – off machine drawings labeled as Uber’s LiDAR circuit board, but the designs appeared extremely similar to Waymo’s unique LiDAR design.

According to a news release, former Waymo manager Anthony Levandowski allegedly stole Google’s self-driving tech, which was confidentially, being developed by the company, six weeks prior to his resignation from Google. Included in the lawsuit charges, Levandowski downloaded “14,000 highly confidential and propriety design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems, including LiDAR and circuit board.”

Google’s driverless company subsidiary also stated that included in the stolen files are Waymo’s self-driving tech, detailed designs of proprietary circuit boards and a laser ranging LiDAR systems.

A few months following Levandowski’s resignation of Google, the engineer set up a new company named Otto, created to focus on developing tech for driverless cars. After six months, Uber acquired the tech company for around $680 million, raising more suspicions from a Levandowski’s former employer.

In addition to Levandowski’s actions, Waymo also found other former employees, now at Otto and Uber, to have pirated highly important information as well.

Waymo stated that they “believe these actions were part of a concerted plan to steal Waymo’s trade secret and intellectual property.” The driverless car company also stated that they greatly regret that such actions need to be taken in order to defend the company’s investment and development for unique technology, as Alphabet has previously worked with Uber.

Uber’s Response

Being the receiving party of the recently filed lawsuit, Uber provided a brief and safe comment regarding the matters at hand.

“We take the allegations made against Otto and Uber employees seriously and we will review this matter carefully,” Uber stated late Thursday.

During the acquisition time for Otto, Uber stated that it bought Otto due to its LiDAR sensors – Waymo’s primary tech for self-driving cars. Meanwhile, Levandowski previously said, “We did not steal any Google IP. Just want to make sure, super clear on that. We built everything from scratch and we have all of the logs to make that, just to be super clear.”

Waymo Sues Uber Over Stolen Technology

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Waymo Sues Uber Over Stolen Technology

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