Colorado residents may be aware of the ongoing legal dispute between Alphabet and Uber about self-driving car technology. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, previously filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Uber, and the company has now added a patent claim to its complaint.
Waymo, the self-driving car division of Alphabet, filed the lawsuit. It alleges that a former employee stole 14,000 files of confidential information about technology for detecting light and sensing ranges that is used in autonomous vehicles. In its original complaint, Waymo alleged that Uber infringed on two of its patents. The complaint was amended to add a third patent.
Alphabet is also claiming that Uber infringed on trade secrets beyond the patents for its Lidar technology. It has requested that the court issue a preliminary injunction forbidding Uber from using the technology. Lidar is a necessary component of autonomous car systems because of its ability to map out streets and the environment surrounding the vehicles. Uber has denied the claims that have been made by Alphabet.
Intellectual property is often a company’s greatest asset. In the case involving Alphabet and Uber, the technology that is at issue is the probable basis for the future of transportation, making it potentially invaluable. Entrepreneurs and businesses may want to protect their intellectual property by securing patents, trademarks or copyrights of the information. Business and commercial law attorneys may help their clients with completing the patent application process. They may also represent their clients’ interests if another business or individual infringes on their patents or confidential trade secrets. Attorneys may advocate for their clients through arbitration hearings or trials in order to try to secure successful resolutions of their legal disputes.
Source: CNBC, “Alphabet adds patent claim to Uber intellectual property theft lawsuit“, March 13, 2017