Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Waymo has filed for an injunction motion against Uber in a bid to prevent the online ride-hailing firm from making use of what Google’s autonomous car unit alleges to be stolen trade secrets. This comes after Waymo earlier filed a lawsuit alleging theft of trade secrets and patent infringement against Uber and its self-driving truck unit, Otto. A court will decide on the preliminary injunction on April 27.
“Given the strong evidence we have, we are asking the court step in to protect intellectual property developed by our engineers over thousands of hours and to prevent any use of that stolen IP,” said a spokesperson for Waymo.
In the motion, Waymo has included testimony from employees among them a security engineer, a supply chain director and a technical lead from the laser-based 3D mapping technology of the driverless car unit company. On the same day that Waymo filed the injunction, Google’s driverless car unit also got to amend the lawsuit it had originally filed by including a new claim of patent infringement. The amendment brings the total number of patent infringement claims to three.
In a statement that had been issued immediately after the lawsuit was filed in February, Uber insisted that Waymo’s actions were baseless and were just an attempt at slowing down competition.
Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber claims that Uber and Otto are making use of driverless car technology from Waymo and specifically its ranging radar and light detection technologies. The industry term for the ranging radar technology is LiDAR and it uses laser light to come up with a 3D map of a car’s immediate environment.
Also targeted in the lawsuit is Anthony Levandowski who founded Otto and later sold it to Uber for approximately $680 million last year. The lawsuit alleges that Levandowski, who had previously worked at Google prior to founding Otto, downloaded over 14,000 files containing proprietary and confidential information belonging to Waymo just before he resigned from the driverless car unit. Some of the files contained the circuit board designs of LiDAR.
On Friday shares of Alphabet Inc edged up by 0.42% to close the day at $851.41.