The question of who controls the future of self-driving cars may be answered in a lawsuit happening right now in a California courtroom. In the lawsuit filed in February, Waymo (Google’s self-driving car unit) accuses Uber of patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation because Uber bought a $700 million start-up company formed by a former Waymo engineer who Waymo says stole its technology with Uber’s knowledge.
“This case is one of the first major battles over driverless car technology, and it promises to be a real food fight,” said Ryan Koppelman, a partner in Alston & Bird’s IP Litigation Practice and co-leader of the firm’s Connected & Autonomous Vehicle Group. “Both companies are angling to capture a large share in the burgeoning world of self-driving vehicles. The global market for autonomous driving hardware components alone is expected to grow from $400 million in 2015 to $40 billion in 2030. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”
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