Waymo files for an injunction against Uber’s use of its self-driving tech

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Waymo has taken the next step in its suit against Uber, which it says took confidential proprietary information regarding how to make its custom-built LiDAR components for use in Uber’s autonomous driving technology. The suit alleges that Otto founder Anthony Levandowski took the information while employed at Waymo when it was still Google’s self-driving car project, and now Waymo has formally filed for an injunction against Uber’s use of the tech it says the ride-hailing company acquired in contravention of the terms of Levandowski’s employment.

Waymo is also seeking expedited discovery in the new filing, and it offered three supporting testimonies alongside its request for both the injunction and the expeditious process. These come from Waymo security engineer Gary Brown, Waymo LiDAR tech lead Pierre-Yves Droz and Waymo supply chain operations director Tim Willis. The three filings offer supporting accounts of various pieces of Waymo’s overall complaint, detailing methods allegedly used by Levandowski and technical information about why Waymo is so sure its tech is the same that Uber is now using.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Waymo said its decision to seek injunction reflects the many hours spent developing its original LiDAR IP. The full statement reads as follows:

Competition should be fueled by innovation in the labs and on the roads, not through unlawful actions. 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.

The suit is based on a very serious charge of intellectual property theft, and will be yet another serious challenge Uber has to face alongside it ongoing concerns over workplace culture and criticism faced by CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick.

The full testimonies and injunction filing are embedded below for reference: