1 Jun
2017

Inside Google’s IP battle with 优步

Google is looking to leverage different forms of intellectual property in its pending battle with 优步. As all eyes turn to the increasingly acrimonious lawsuit, is this the start of the next big IP war?

Tspotlight is on autonomous vehicle technology as 优步 and Waymo, a spin-out of Google parent Alphabet, 他ad deeper into trial on a host of IP issues (Waymo LLC v 优步 Technologies, Inc,CAND-3-17-cv-00939,于2017年2月23日提交)。虽然头条新闻让人想起好莱坞式的商业秘密盗窃和企业间谍活动构想,但所谓的事实模式听起来更像是对好奇的法律思想家的知识产权发现活动。如果此案是未来汽车技术中IP斗争和政策考虑的象征,那么观察Google在自动驾驶中如何利用各种形式的知识产权(例如,其专利,商业秘密,雇佣合同和合作伙伴关系)将无价之宝行业。

指控

At the 他art of the matter is a patent lawsuit alleging that 优步 is infringing four patents assigned to Google, Inc related to light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology which uses rotating laser beams and detectors to identify the shape, structure and distance of objects and features around a car. Waymo –以前是Google无人驾驶汽车项目–是Alphabet Inc.拥有的自动驾驶汽车开发公司。

谷歌已经确定了所谓的‘smoking gun’从其LiDAR组件供应商之一发送的电子邮件链形式,无意间复制到Waymo。据说这封电子邮件包含打鱼游戏下载标记的电路板的机械图纸,Google认为“与Waymo惊人的相似’自己的高度机密和专有设计”并据称证明“打鱼游戏下载’的LiDAR系统侵犯了Waymo获得的多项LiDAR技术专利”.

Waymo还相信Google的工程师兼前任经理Anthony Levandowski’的自动驾驶汽车部门下载了近14,000个文档–涉嫌为Waymo包含约10 GB的机密文件和设计’s LiDAR –在离开之前创立自己的公司Otto之前,该公司改装了长途卡车以实现自动驾驶。成立不到一年,Utto在2016年8月被打鱼游戏下载以6.8亿美元收购。列万多夫斯基(Levandowski)现在是优步(打鱼游戏下载)的副总裁,与他的优步职责分开经营奥托(Otto)。

Waymo asserts causes of action against 优步 and Otto, including four counts of patent infringement, violations of the Defence of 商业机密 Act and the California Uniform Trade Secret Act, and allegations of unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business acts under California’的《不正当竞争法》。

最近的发展

Waymo recently asserted that depositions revealed a joint defence agreement, from when 优步 first acquired Otto, indicating that the two companies anticipated the lawsuit. Waymo also suggests that 优步 is part of a cover-up and hid a second device revealed only during the deposition of one of 优步’s engineers. Waymo requested an injunction against all of 优步’的自动驾驶测试,但在5月15日被拒绝。

优步, concerned about publicity, asked the judge to direct the matter to arbitration. Waymo had previously filed two arbitration demands against Levandowski in October 2016, alleging breach of confidentiality and employment agreements. On May 11, the court ruled against 优步’要求仲裁的动议,并下令将案件转交给美国律师进行调查。

Waymo’列文多夫斯基(Levandowski)的最新档案似乎变得更具个性,尤其是考虑到有报道称他为Google工作时赚了1.2亿美元。 Waymo成功地要求禁止打鱼游戏下载隔离Levandowski的禁制令’的LiDAR团队。在发现的早期,显然希望限制打鱼游戏下载的生产’在对Otto进行尽职调查后,Levandowski维护了其第五修正案保护文件的权利。法院裁定Waymo’莱万多夫斯基(Levandowski)对此表示赞同,但已向第九巡回法院提出紧急呼吁。虽然其中一些策略可能是审判策略的一部分,但许多人认为,诉讼是阻止Google员工未来偷猎的工具,尤其是在自动驾驶技术方面。

Google and 优步: still partners?

作为谷歌’无处不在成为全国性讨论的话题,Waymo’对打鱼游戏下载和Otto的诉讼强调了Alphabet’致力于领导自动驾驶汽车行业。例如,谷歌’主导乘车共享的策略可能取决于自动驾驶技术在成本,便利性和安全性方面击败打鱼游戏下载。优步最近宣布将匹兹堡添加到其少数几个自动驾驶汽车测试城市中,而Waymo刚刚宣布报名参加凤凰城大都会地区的自动驾驶小型货车。

The allegations against 优步 and Levandowski feel personal and both sides should bear in mind the lawsuit’s potential to affect one of their most valuable forms of intellectual property: goodwill. Neither Google nor 优步 appears ready to back down; if these filings are the opening salvo of the next big IP war, the autonomous vehicle industry may see many accompanying battles over patents, trade secrets, data theft, employee contracts and partnerships.

凯文·里菲尔(Kevin Rieffel) 是首席律师–在美国费城和加拿大渥太华的TechPats提供专利咨询服务