Did a misdirected email break open a Google/Uber rift?

The Verge reports that Waymo, the self-driving car subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, is suing Uber and its Otto subsidiary for trade secret theft and patent infringement. According to a complaint filed by Waymo, a former employee, since made a senior manager at Uber, downloaded and stole over 14,000 confidential documents relating to the company's self-driving car technology. 

The alleged wrongful use of Waymo's intellectual property was discovered when a vendor who evidently works with both Google and Uber accidentally cc'd a Google employee on an email attaching designed based on the stolen proprietary information. 

Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome of Waymo's lawsuit, the episode highlights what is at stake when companies send confidential information over email. Even the most sophisticated and technologically advanced companies can be caught up in common email mistakes.

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