Uber has threatened to terminate the employment of its important engineer Anthony Levandowski, who has been at the centre of a lawsuit filed by Alphabet’s Waymo.

Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging that Levandowski downloaded more than 14,000 documents containing trade secrets before quitting the company to launch his firm Otto.

Levandowski was one of the important engineers involved in the development of Google’s autonomous car programme.

Waymo is the autonomous car unit operating under Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google.

In a court filing, Uber notified Levandowski that he should comply with the order and return the documents to Waymo or face the risk of having his employment with Uber terminated, reported The Guardian.

In a letter to Levandowski, Uber general counsel Salle Yoo wrote: "If you do not agree to comply with all of the requirements set forth herein, or if you fail to comply in a material manner, then Uber will take adverse employment action against you, which may include termination of your employment."

"The two companies have been striving to gain a dominant position in autonomous vehicle technology."

The two companies have been striving to gain a dominant position in autonomous vehicle technology, reported the publication.

Waymo alleged that the engineer had stolen the documents to draw information to build Uber’s autonomous vehicles programme.

Uber acquired the autonomous truck firm Otto for nearly $700m in 2016.

According to the allegations, data was used in developing Uber’s sensor system for autonomous cars.

Last week, US district judge William Alsup in San Francisco issued an injunction to Uber.

The court ordered Uber to keep Levandowski and other employees from using any Waymo's documents and to return them to Alphabet by the end of this month.