Uber as a company is no stranger to lawsuits. However, their next major lawsuit is rather different as the company they’re up against is Waymo, a self-driving car company that was spun-off by Alphabet last year.
The lawsuit in question was filed in a federal court in California. Said lawsuit accuses Anthony Levandowski of stealing 14,000 highly confidential documents during his tenure with Google before leaving the company to form his own self-driving truck company called Otto before eventually becoming a top ranking executive in Uber. Some of the documents that were stolen by Levandowski includes schematics of a circuit board and details about radar and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this entire lawsuit has to be how Waymo discovered that its technology was stolen. In a post published on Medium by Waymo describing their reasoning for the lawsuit, it appears that Waymo was informed of the theft due to a mistakenly CC’d email by a LiDAR component vendor. In this email, the attached schematics of Uber’s LiDAR circuit board “bears a striking resemblance to Waymo’s own high confidential and proprietary design and reflects Waymo trade secrets.”
Waymo is now asking the court to block both Otto and Uber from using its self-driving technology, as well as the return of all stolen materials. As for Uber, a spokesman for the company states that it will review this matter carefully. Those who are interested in the lawsuit can read it on Scribd.