Ridesharing company Uber is facing another court challenge. The owner of Celluride Wireless filed a lawsuit against the company for the alleged theft of his technology and ideas.
According to the complaint, filed in the Superior Court of California, Kevin Halpern asserts that he first developed the concept of a peer-to-peer ridesharing service in 2002. He alleges that, between 2006 and 2008, the CEO of Uber, along with the Chairman and an initial investor, obtained his trade secrets for the Celluride technology. Halpern claims that he shared the information in confidence, believing that the parties were going to work together on the project. Instead, they allegedly cut him out of the business and used his data to eventually create Uber.
The complaint in Kevin Halpern et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al. includes allegations of:
- Misappropriation of trade secrets – This cause of action arises when an individual or organization develops information that is used for business purposes and keeps the data secret; any person or company that obtains the secret and uses it may be held liable.
- Conversion – This cause of action arises when one individual intentionally interferes with the property interest of another.
- Breach of contract – This cause of action arises when individuals enter into a binding agreement and one or more parties do not perform as promised under the contract.
The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of $1 billion, claiming that Uber is currently valued at $40 billion. He is also requesting a declaratory judgement from the court, recognizing a valid legal controversy about the Uber application rights and interests in the company’s profits. The rideshare service denies the allegations and representatives have asserted the company’s intention to defend the case.