Waymo Targets Second Senior Executive In Uber Self-Driving Technology Dispute

A pilot model Uber self-driving car is displayed at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center on September 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Uber launched a groundbreaking driverless car service, stealing ahead of Detroit auto giants and Silicon Valley rivals with technology that could revolutionize transportation. (Photo credit: ANGELO MERENDINO/AFP/Getty Images)

Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Waymo initiated private legal proceedings against two former executives who launched a rival company acquired by Uber (UBER), court records show, accusing them of trying to recruit Waymo employees to the new startup that aims to revolutionize the auto industry.

One co-founder, Anthony Levandowski, has already been named in court documents as facing arbitration initiated by Waymo last October. However, court filings made public on Monday showed that Waymo targeted a second co-founder as well, Lior Ron, heightening legal uncertainty surrounding the unit Uber acquired.

Waymo and Uber are fighting in court over self-driving technology that Waymo says was stolen by a former employee who founded another company, Otto, that was later acquired by Uber. The Waymo lawsuit pits two Silicon Valley titans against each other.

Before the lawsuit filed in February, Waymo had begun two arbitration proceedings, including one involving Levandowski, a former Google (GOOGL, -0.73%) executive and Otto co-founder. Waymo said he tried to recruit Waymo employees to his new startup, according to arbitration documents released on Monday.

The court filings on Monday showed that a second Otto “co-founder” also was involved in arbitration. The name was largely redacted except on the last page, and a description of the person’s work history matches that of Ron, who lists himself on LinkedIn as an Otto co-founder still at the company, now a part of Uber.

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SOURCE: Fortune; Reuters

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