SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber is refuting claims that its expansion into self-driving cars hinges on trade secrets stolen from a Google spinoff, arguing that its ride-hailing service has been working on potentially superior technology.

The defense presented in documents filed Friday in San Francisco federal court marks Uber’s first detailed response to explosive allegations that its self-driving cars are using a crucial piece of technology designed by Waymo, a company created from Google’s work on autonomous vehicles.

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Waymo alleges a former manager, Anthony Levandowski, stole its patented ideas before leaving Google early last year to found a self-driving car startup called Otto that Uber bought for $680 million last year.

But Uber is now presenting evidence that it began working on technology dramatically different from Waymo’s more than a year before buying Otto.

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