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Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

Court mulls Uber motion to force Waymo into arbitration

Colorado residents who are following the development of driverless car technology may be interested in learning about the latest twist in the ongoing litigation between Waymo and Uber over Waymo’s driverless car technology. Waymo previously filed a trade secrets and unfair competition lawsuit against Uber. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant and one of Waymo’s former employees infringed on Waymo’s patented technology and used it in Uber’s driverless cars. Uber filed a motion to force Waymo into arbitration and to stay it while related federal patent infringement litigation is proceeding.

The case involves allegations by Waymo that one of its former employees illegally downloaded 14,000 files and then used the information contained in them to start Otto, a company that was a direct competitor of Waymo. That employee now heads Uber’s driverless car division. Uber acquired Otto in Aug. 2016 for $680 million.

Uber is alleged to have met with the employee before he resigned from Waymo, and the company claims that Uber knew that the employee would be stealing the confidential data. It is unclear whether or not the judge will grant or deny Uber’s motion.

The intellectual property of a company may sometimes be infringed on by other companies and individuals, resulting in substantial financial harm. Businesses that believe that others have stolen their confidential information may want to consult with attorneys who are experienced with intellectual property issues. Attorneys might secure injunctions against the infringing parties to prevent them from continuing to use the technology or other information while seeking appropriate financial compensation.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Uber fights to arbitrate Waymo’s trade secrets claims“, Helen Christophi, April 27, 2017

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