Waymo vs. Uber My Be the next Edison vs. Westinghouse

Waymo vs. Uber My Be the next Edison vs. Westinghouse

Chloé Margulis and Charles Goulding

During the late 1800’s, significant debate resulted from the development of new electric power supply systems. Whereas Thomas Edison supported growth of DC, direct current, supply, competitor George Westinghouse worked to make AC, alternating current, more widespread in both rural and urban settings. This War of Currents is mimicked in the current clash between Google and Uber over LiDAR technology in self-driving vehicles. The study discusses implications concerning Google vs. Uber and a comparison of this case to Edison vs. Westinghouse, its predecessor. A comparison is made between the similar decisions and actions of Nikola Tesla and Anthony Levandowski, both of whom left one company to work on personal technological ventures before being bought out by another company. An analysis is conducted concerning patents owned by Google, potential patent infringements, and the impact this case will have on our future, the growth of technology and autonomous vehicles, and intellectual property law.

99 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc’y 500(2017)

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