The battle between Waymo and Uber, which comes to a head in a San Francisco courtroom Monday, is partly a fight over the potential trillion-dollar future of automated driving, and one that both companies are heavily invested in winning.
But the heart of the dispute — Uber is accused of swiping trade secrets from the Alphabet subsidiary Waymo — reflects a struggle that is as old as the wildly aspirational, incestuous, high-tech valley they both call home.
For as long as hyperaggressive companies have fought for competitive advantage in Silicon Valley, often with billions of dollars at stake, there have been accusations of missing files, suspicious hires, plagiarized ideas and stolen trade secrets.
For example: Apple vs. Xerox in the 1970s and Instagram vs. Snapchat or Apple vs. Samsung over the last decade.
What makes this case stand out, experts say, is…