SAN FRANCISCO — A California entrepreneur has accused Uber of building its entire $41 billion empire on a stolen idea.

Kevin Halpern founded Celluride Wireless Inc. in 2002 as a means to connect limo and black-car drivers to passengers through mobile technology. In a lawsuit filed Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court, Halpern claims he invented the premise that has since evolved into the booming transportation-network industry but was sidelined by Uber Technologies Inc.’s co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp.

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