Transportation Company Uber has said that the preliminary injunction by Googles’s former self driving division Waymo is a ‘misfire’. Uber filed its response at the US District Court for the Northern District of California. WIPR reported that the uber and its self driving truck company Otto were accused of misappropriating and infringing Waymo’s LiDAR, a Lazer based scanning and mapping technology.

Calculated Theft

Waymo claimed that a former manager, who is now at Uber, had downloaded more than 14000 highly confidential and proprietary files shortly before resigning. The self driving car division argued that this “calculated theft” of trade secrets netted Otto employees “over a half million dollar” and allowed Uber to “ revive a stalled programmed, all at Waymo’s expense”.

Waymo also claimed in its original suit that Uber infringed its patent covering the LiDAR technology. The patents included US numbers 8,836,922; 9,368,936; and 9,086,273. Waymo asked for preliminary injunction to stop Uber and Otto using the alleged trade secrets and infringing its patent. The transportation business added that Waymo’s central argument , that former Waymo employees brought thousands of confidential Waymo document to Uber to build a ‘copycat’ , LiDAR and that Uber’s system closely mimics Waymo’s single-lens design are “demonstrably false”.

Uber said that the search of its computer has not yielded any of 14000files Waymo alleges that Uber misappropriated, and these measures have worked.  The complaint added that Waymo cannot show that Uber misappropriated its trade secret or infringed its patens. Uber added that if court grants Waymo’s motion, there would be harm to Uber and the public.


An Uber spokesperson told WIPR: “If Waymo genuinely thought that Uber was using its secrets, it would not have waited more than five months to seek an injunction. Waymo doesn’t meet the high bar for an injunction, which would stifle independent innovation and competition.”

A Waymo spokesperson said: “Uber’s assertion that they’ve never touched the 14,000 stolen files is disingenuous at best, given their refusal to look in the most obvious place: the computers and devices owned by the head of their self-driving program.”

Waymo is asking the court to step in “based on clear evidence” that Uber is using, or plans to use, Waymo’s trade secrets to develop its LiDAR technology, as seen in both “circuit board blueprints and filings in Nevada”.