Alphabet sues Uber over alleged technology theft


Alphabet, Google's parent company, has sued Uber for stealing intellectual property from Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit.  Alphabet claims that its former employee, Anthony Levandowski, had downloaded and illegitimately taken documents which contained information that was later used at Uber.

Anthony left Alphabet to start a self-driving truck company, Otto, which was later acquired by Uber. Waymo's lawsuit contended that Levandowski in December 2015 downloaded more than 14,000 proprietary files from a highly confidential design server to a laptop.

Waymo claims that "Otto and Uber have taken Waymo's intellectual property so that they could avoid incurring the risk, time and expense of independently developing their own technology".

The suit is particularly focused on the LiDAR system information that was stored on the Waymo server, which has been claimed by the company to have wound up at Otto. The LiDAR system includes specific sensors that use lasers to scan and essentially enable vehicles to "see" what is around them, an investment which required tens of millions of dollars.

It is pending to see whether Levandowski provided his mere knowledge or illegitimately acquired documents to Uber.

Written by: The UAIPIT Team



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