Home / / Uber built on stolen idea, lawsuit alleges

Uber built on stolen idea, lawsuit alleges

California man suing Uber CEO and early investors for 'creating exact replica' of his own ride-sharing service

Uber built on stolen idea, lawsuit alleges
An Uber statement said that the lawsuit was 'completely baseless'

The latest legal trouble faced by global ride-sharing firm Uber has come in the form of a lawsuit filed by a California man, who claims that the company and its CEO, Travis Kalanick, stole his idea.

According to reports, Kevin Halpern alleges that he first came up with the idea of a phone-based taxi service, and that Uber and its early investors stole the idea through ‘misappropriation of trade secrets' as well as breach of contract. He claims to have suffered damages above $1bn, it was reported by Reuters.

Halpern's evidence comes in the fact that he started a company called Culluride Wireless in 2003. Uber was launched in 2009.

"Kalanick created an exact replica of Celluride and called it Uber," Halpern said in a YouTube video that he made detailing his complaint.

He added in the video that, as a New York resident, he had come up with the idea of Celluride - which aimed to link drivers and passengers using GPS - when trying to solve the problem of getting taxis in the city. He said that he had first started with a website, and by 2006 had built a prototype for mobile.

However, he said that, around this time, he met Uber's Kalanick at an office in San Francisco. He said that the two had discussed Celluride and that Kalanick had promised to keep the concept secret. In return, Halpern would share his concepts, designs and prototypes, he claimed.

Halpern is also suing a group of Uber's early investors.

Uber recently completed another round of funding, and is currently valued at $40bn. Reuters quoted an Uber statement calling the lawsuit "completely baseless".  

Follow us to get the most comprehensive IT Security news delivered fresh from our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and listen to our Weekly Podcast. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter on curated technology news in the Middle East and Worldwide.

REGISTER NOW | Webinar Event | Security you can bank on – Safeguarding the Middle East’s financial sector

Presented in partnership with security and network specialist Cybereason, the second in the three part webinar series will bring together a panel of experts to discuss how banks and financial institutions are evolving their service offering while simultaneously staying one step ahead of the cyber criminals who seek to bring their operations crashing to the ground.