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Uber has faced myriad controversies, but none of them is as existential a threat to its future as a patent infringement lawsuit from Google. On the surface, Google’s claim that a former employee passed design documents for Google’s self-driving car technology to Uber may look like a clear-cut case of theft. But as Bloomberg Businessweek reporters Max Chafkin and Mark Bergen explain, the events that preceded the alleged knowledge transfer paint a much more nuanced picture of the dispute. getAbstract recommends Chafkin and Bergen’s report to automotive industry professionals, patent lawyers and anybody interested in the background of this headline-grabbing case. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Google is accusing Uber of stealing its technology,
  • Who is behind the alleged knowledge transfer and
  • How Google is violating long-standing company principles by filing the lawsuit.
 

About the Authors

Max Chafkin and Mark Bergen are writers at Bloomberg Businessweek. 

 

Summary

Uber Technologies faces a lawsuit from Alphabet on behalf of Google’s self-driving car division, Waymo. Google accuses Uber of stealing Waymo’s driverless car technology. The lawsuit could jeopardize Uber’s self-driving car program – “a business that both companies believe will be worth hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars a year.” In fact, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick considers driverless cars an “existential” necessity for the company: Its largest cost is paying drivers.

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