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Google Asks Court To Block Uber's Use Of Allegedly Stolen Self-driving Car Tech

By Justin Lee , Mar 11, 2017 03:10 AM EST
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After accusing Uber of stealing its self-driving car secrets, Google's Waymo has filed a preliminary injunction against the company. The said injunction asks Uber to quit using the technologies that Google claimed to have been stolen from them. According to Waymo's previous accusations, Uber has stolen its LiDAR system via the former Google engineer named Anthony Levandowski.

As per the sworn testimony by forensic security engineer Gary Brown, Levandowski downloaded 14,000 confidential files that revolve around Waymo's self-driving car project. It was said that the former employee took the massive files in December 2015 and then left the company one month after. Levandowski worked for Google for nine years before leaving to start his own business called Otto. Otto was then purchased by Uber who also took Levandowski as a top executive for the company.

While it's only Levandowski who has been making headlines for the alleged theft of intellectual property, he isn't the only former Waymo employee who has been accused of downloading Google's self-driving car materials. A mechanical engineer named Radu Raduta and former global supply manager for self-driving cars named Sameer Kshirsagar are also accused of stealing confidential files from Waymo. It's worth noting that these two former Google employees have joined Levandowski in building Otto, as per Business Insider.

Uber, on the other hand, has not been very generous in explaining its side of the story, although the company made a short statement denying Waymo's allegation. After Google filed a lawsuit against Uber, the latter released a response saying that the allegation was just a "baseless attempt" to hinder a competitor. The company failed to address the specific issues like the alleged download of 14,000 worth of files and the amusing similarity of its LiDAR system to the one created by Waymo. Uber is likewise yet to comment on the recent injunction filed by Waymo.

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