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Self-driving car companies battle over technology

People all across Orlando are eagerly anticipating the arrival of self-driving cars, and several companies have been promising to deliver these vehicles in the very near future. However, in the race to be first at anything related to new technology, companies often run into legal obstacles that can create delays.

For instance, recently Waymo and Uber have been battling over technology that is critical to the creation of self-driving systems. The information is related to a laser-guided system that allows autonomous vehicles to operate properly. The disputes hinge on whether Uber is violating intellectual property laws and using Waymo-protected technology. 

Reports like this one from The Washington Post detail the allegations made by Waymo – a spinoff of Google – in a lawsuit against Uber. Essentially, Waymo claims that Uber is using trade secrets and patent-protected information stolen by a former Google employee.

Waymo is requesting that a judge block Uber from using the allegedly illegally acquired information in question. If Waymo is successful in this request and its lawsuit citing intellectual property violations, it could paralyze Uber’s advancements with self-driving vehicles.

However this case is resolved, it should serve as a powerful reminder to companies that protecting intellectual property is vital, especially in highly competitive industries.

Business owners across Florida would be wise to protect inventions and designs with patents, copyrights and/or trademarks. It can also be a good idea to have employees complete confidentiality agreements if they will have access to trade secrets.

Should a party violate or attempt to violate the protections you have secured, you can take legal action seeking financial penalties and an injunction.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the protection of intellectual property, it can be crucial that you consult an attorney familiar with these laws and litigating business disputes. With legal representation, you can protect your company, its competitive edge and its future.

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