Waymo claims that Uber stole their trade secret

Waymo, the Alphabet subsidiary that took over Google's self-driving car project, have filed a complaint against Uber, an online transportation network company, on Thursday.

The filed complaint alleged that a former employee stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving car project and brought them to a startup, Otto, that was later acquired by Uber. The complaint filed also claimed trade secret misappropriation, patent infringement, and unfair competition.

The complaint filed further explained that the former employee who is now the co-founder of Otto, Anthony Levandowski downloaded more than 14,000 proprietary design files that worths 9.7GB for Waymo's Lidar system in late 2015 before he left the company to establish Otto. The complaint stated that Waymo found out about this when those designs showed up in an email that they (Waymo) received from one of its circuit board suppliers in December. The email, which apparently was referring to Uber's own Lidar design, confirmed Waymo's earlier suspicions that Levandowski had given Waymo's trade secrets to Uber, which acquired Otto in August 2016.

Read: Google’s new self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans will be hitting the road at the end of January 2017.

Waymo continuously wrote that "As of August 2016, Uber had no in-house solution for LiDAR despite 18 months with their faltering Carnegie Mellon University effort and they acquired Otto to get it.  By September 2016, Uber represented to regulatory authorities in Nevada that it was no longer using an off-the-shelf, or third-party, LiDAR technology, but rather using an in-house custom built' LiDAR system."

Apart from the co-founder Levandowski, Waymo also found out that some of  the Otto-Uber employees who used to work with them (Waymo) downloaded confidential Lidar information.

As regards to this lawsuit, Waymo said in a statement that "Our parent company Alphabet has long worked with Uber in many areas, and we didn't make this decision lightly. However, given the overwhelming facts that our technology has been stolen, we have no choice but to defend our investment and development of this unique technology."

In reaction to the above claims, An Uber spokesperson said that "we take the allegations made against Otto and Uber employees seriously and we will review this matter carefully."

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