Uber CEO Sued for Allegedly Stealing Trade SecretsSAN FRANCISCO, May 16 (UPI) — An apparent old friend of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is suing the billionaire for stealing his idea.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Kevin Halpern says he invented the technology behind Uber’s success and is suing Kalanick, the company and its investors, citing $1 billion in damages.
Halpern, founder of Celluride, “spent seven years” developing the technology behind Uber, his attorney Christopher Dolan told reporters at a press conference Thursday. “He has been left out of the company.”
On top of the lawsuit, Halpern released a YouTube video called “Grand Theft Uber” to bring more attention to his cause.
“Kalanick created an exact replica of Celluride and called it Uber,” Halpern says in the video. “In 2006, years before Uber was founded, I shared Celluride with Kalanick numerous times, and detailed the blueprints of a new industry.”
The Celluride owner says he and Kalanick were office neighbors and became trusted friends long before Uber-like success was a glint in either of the men’s eyes.
“Kalanick flagrantly violated Celluride’s intellectual property, trade secrets and years of our research,” says Halpern. In the 11-minute video, Halpern details carefully why the technology behind Uber is his own brainchild as well as reasons why Kalanick is untrustworthy.
Uber spokeswoman Kristin Carvell told CNNMoney, “These claims are completely baseless,” and “We will vigorously defend against them.”
Dolan said of his client, “He wishes to demonstrate that young entrepreneurs can stand up to the biggest corporations when they feel they’ve been harmed.”