On May 14, a man filed a lawsuit in California against Uber Technologies Inc. in which he claimed that he was the original inventor of the transportation network. Since it was founded in San Francisco in 2009, Uber has become a popular cellphone-based shared ride service that operates in 57 countries.
According to the allegations in the trade secrets lawsuit, the true inventor of Uber’s ‘idea, concept, coding design, appearance, application and prototype” was never compensated for his invention. The plaintiff claims that he began developing plans for the transportation network in 2002 and founded his company, Celluride Wireless Inc., in 2003. In 2006, the plaintiff says that he spoke to the future founder and chief executive officer of Uber about his ideas on a confidential basis.
Although the Uber founder promised that he would keep the plaintiff’s trade secrets confidential, the plaintiff claims that the founder and others later conspired to profit from the information. Financial damages from the stolen trade secrets are over $1 billion, according to the plaintiff. In a public statement that was issued after news broke about the lawsuit, Uber called the plaintiff’s claims baseless.
A person who has suffered from economic losses due to stolen trade secrets may be able to pursue financial compensation for the resulting damages. An attorney may be able to help a plaintiff in this type of case by conducting a thorough investigation into the theft of the trade secrets, gathering evidence to prove that the trade secrets were stolen and assessing the full value of the plaintiff’s damages.
Source: CBS News, “Uber founders sued, accused of stealing idea,” May 15, 2015