Uber Technologies Inc goes before a U.S. judge on Wednesday to fight for the right to continue work on its self-driving car program, the latest phase in a courtroom battle over trade secrets that threatens to topple a central pillar of Uber’s growth strategy.
The ride-services company is contesting a lawsuit by Alphabet Inc’s self-driving car unit, Waymo, which accused former Waymo engineer and current Uber executive Anthony Levandowski of taking technical secrets from Waymo and using them to help Uber’s self-driving car development.
If it were proven that Levandowski and Uber conspired in taking the information, that could have dire consequences for Uber, say legal and ride-hailing industry experts. Uber’s $68 billion valuation is propped up in part by investors’ belief it will be a dominant player in the emerging business of self-driving cars.
At issue on Wednesday is Waymo’s demand that U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup in San Francisco issue an injunction barring Uber from using any of the technology that Waymo said was stolen. If Alsup issues a broadly worded order against Uber, it could all but shut down Uber’s self-driving car program while court proceedings continue.
Alsup is not expected to rule immediately on Wednesday, but he may […]