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Old 24th February 2017, 11:41   #1
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Default Google sues Uber over self-driving car technology theft

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has filed a lawsuit accusing Uber of stealing its self-driving car technology. According to this lawsuit, Alphabet claims that a manager, who left their company's self-driving car division - Waymo, stole some confidential technical data and formed a competing venture under a new name - Otto. Otto was later acquired by Uber through a deal which is rumoured to amount to $680 million. Google has now accused that Otto is using their patented technology and has thus filed a case describing it as "an action for trade secret misappropriation, patent infringement and unfair competition."

Anthony Levandowski is the ex-Google manager who has been accused of stealing Alphabet's technology. The lawsuit claims that Levandowski downloaded over 14,000 files to a laptop from Google's confidential design server in December 2015. After taking the downloaded files on a storage drive, he reportedly formatted the laptop to erase any traces of the downloaded data. Levandowski subsequently had several meetings with high-level executives at Uber's headquarters in January 2016 and filed his resignation from Google by the end of the month.

Google claims that most of the stolen information revolves around its LiDAR sensors. LiDAR is a laser-based technology that is used to sense the surroundings of a self-driving car. Through the lawsuit, Alphabet is now trying to stop Otto and Uber from using this technology, which it claims is patented under Google's name.

Source: ET Auto

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Last edited by dZired : 24th February 2017 at 11:42.
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Old 24th February 2017, 12:55   #2
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Default Re: Google sues Uber over self-driving car technology theft

It is surprising as well as shocking. in 2013, Google ventures had invested into the Uber as well. Is it really a theft or some politics?

Last edited by GTO : 24th February 2017 at 17:22. Reason: Typo
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Old 24th February 2017, 14:00   #3
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Default Re: Google sues Uber over self-driving car technology theft

I don't have exact specifics at hand but I remember that there have been a lot of instances of poaching within tech companies (Apple and Google), car manufacturers (Tesla) and Uber regarding the self-driving technology.

Considering how pioneering the self-driving concept is, wonder if this is just the start for allegations.

Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
in 2013, Google ventures had invested into the Uber as well. Is it really a theft or some politics?
Shouldn't matter, right? Just because they've invested in Uber doesn't make IP theft okay.
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Old 25th February 2017, 12:53   #4
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Default Re: Google sues Uber over self-driving car technology theft

This definitely isn't 'just another lawsuit'. It appears to have substance:

Recently, we received an unexpected email. One of our suppliers specializing in LiDAR components sent us an attachment (apparently inadvertently) of machine drawings of what was purported to be Uber’s LiDAR circuit board — except its design bore a striking resemblance to Waymo’s unique LiDAR design.

We found that six weeks before his resignation this former employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems, including designs of Waymo’s LiDAR and circuit board. To gain access to Waymo’s design server, Mr. Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop. Once inside, he downloaded 9.7 GB of Waymo’s highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation. Then he connected an external drive to the laptop. Mr. Levandowski then wiped and reformatted the laptop in an attempt to erase forensic fingerprints.
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