Things are about to get heated between Google and Uber real fast, as accusations fly between the two major tech giants. We’re looking at a federal lawsuit on behalf of Google that claims Uber stole intellectual properties from a prior Google project leader. With former Google project leader, Anthony Levandowsky, running the show at Uber’s autonomous car department, he’s accused of downloading close to 14,000 archives from Google just one-month prior of leaving the company. It’s believed that he had dreams of starting his own autonomous vehicles.
Realistically, Uber received Otto in August for approximately $680 million, just roughly seven months after Anthony departed from Google.
In the filling, Waymo, the head company in Google self-driving division, was quoted saying the following, “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. Ultimately, this calculated theft reportedly netted Otto employees over half a billion dollars and allowed Uber to revive a stalled program, all at Waymo’s expense.”
Surprisingly, Uber had nothing to reply to the allegations, and has thus remained silent during the matter. Waymo continued to outline the facts, by stating the even Uber’s design blueprints had an uncanny resemblance to Waymo’s patents. They are also claiming that other trade secrets had been stolen before Mr. Levandowski and his team took off from Google. Some of the things that may have been stolen according to Waymo include, but are not limited to manufacturing details, technical information, and even supplier lists. Uber is looking at an official accusation of infringing on patents and unfair competition.
I do have to say it doesn’t look good for Uber, since Mr. Levandowski left earlier just this past year from Google, he founded Otto with Lior Ron, who also happens to be well rounded in has an expertise in autonomous vehicle research and data, as well as digital mapping. Levandowski closed the deal just after having received his last multimillion dollar compensation payment from Google. Unfortunately, since many different companies are quite interested in autonomous tech, which has since, set off an non-elusive trail of very costly investments and lawsuits.
What do you think about the situation? Did Uber do anything wrong? Should Uber be liable for Mr. Levandowski? Did he do anything wrong? Dont forget to like, comment, and share!