Uber Trade Secret Case Sent to State Court

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Claims that Uber stole its business technology must be adjudicated in state court, a federal judge ruled.
     Kevin Halpern and his company Celluride Wireless sued Uber and its top executives in May, claiming they stole trade secrets that underpin how Uber schedules, executes and bills for ridesharing.
     Halpern sought damages for conversion, breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
     U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White on Wednesday dismissed the conversion claim as preempted by the Copyright Act, since Halpern seeks damages for unauthorized reproduction of technology, rather than on “tangible” converted items.
     White remanded Halpern’s other claims to state court, as a more convenient venue.
     Halpern’s attorney Chris Dolan told Courthouse News that state court would be “a better fit” for the case.
     “We’ll have a better chance of a jury in that venue,” Dolan said. “And lately, federal judges are being arbitrarily severe, so that’s been having a negative impact.”
     Dolan said that state court will involve “a more focused group of people” in the city and county of San Francisco, who will be “in tune with intellectual property issues.” Uber’s counsel did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

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