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New York: A US judge has asked federal prosecutors to investigate Uber Technologies Inc and one of its engineers for potential theft of trade secrets from Google, a media report said.

The judge also determined the lawsuit Google filed against Uber would head to trial, dealing a blow to Uber's strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported.

This will heighten the stakes of a legal battle between Uber and Google parent Alphabet Inc over driverless-car technology.

The judge late on Thursday temporarily blocked a limited part of Uber's driverless-car program, which Google alleges benefited from the stolen trade secrets.

The motion issuing a partial injunction was sealed. As a result, the scope and details of the injunction - and how drastically it would curb Uber's program - was unclear.

Alphabet's driverless-car unit, which Google recently renamed Waymo, had asked the judge to block much of Uber's work on self-driving cars.

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