Waymo Settles Trade Secrets Lawsuit With Uber

In a courtroom sketch Waymo lawyer Charles Voehoeven addresses the jury in the Waymo v. Uber trial over allegedly stolen trade secrets involving self-driving cars

It brought the lawsuit a year ago.

When Google initially invested in Uber in 2013, Larry Page, Google's chief executive at the time, and David Drummond, Alphabet's top lawyer, were mentors, Kalanick said.

The settlement allows Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to put another scandal behind the company and move ahead with development of self-driving technology after the tumultuous leadership of the firm by former CEO Travis Kalanick, who testified at the trial on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Elizabeth Rowe, a professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, analyzed about 150 trade secret verdicts through 2014 and said $245 million would rank as second highest.

Uber will pay Waymo a package that includes 0.34% of Uber equity, according to a person familiar with the settlement.

Uber bought Otto, the company Levandowski formed just before he quit Waymo in January 2016, in a $600m stock deal. If Waymo had been able to convince a jury that its trade secrets were on Uber's servers, Uber would have suffered financially. "The evidence at trial overwhelmingly proved that, and had the trial proceeded to its conclusion, it is clear Uber would have prevailed".

For Uber, there were many reasons to settle the case, particularly as Khosrowshahi expects to take the company public in 2019.

At the heart of the debate is one of the hottest trends in tech: self-driving cars.

"While I cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will inform our actions going forward". He also says Uber is taking steps to make sure its self-driving vehicle research represents only Uber's work.

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Meanwhile, the alleged trade secrets are about the technology that is used to emit laser beams on surrounding objects and then it sends back the data that enables the self-driving cars to create a 3D picture of their surroundings. While the technology is sophisticated, it is available for purchase from suppliers such as Velodyne.

After months of buildup and almost a full week of courtroom wrangling, the two sides in the Waymo v. Uber lawsuit have reached a settlement, and the case is being dismissed with prejudice.

The price of the settlement may have been the clincher.

Khosrowshahi said in his statement he regretted the handling of the Levandowski matter, which occurred before he took over as CEO a year ago. For former Uber C.E.O.

Waymo's lawyer Charles Voehoeven addresses the jury in the Waymo v. Uber trial over allegedly stolen self-driving vehicle trade secrets. But when asked about the Otto acquisition and the hiring of Levandowski, Kalanick was understated. Uber and Google were once partners, although their interests later began to collide, souring the business relationship.

The lawsuit alleged that Levandowski downloaded about 14,000 files from Google's servers before leaving the company.

Uber is paying $245 million to Google's self-driving auto spinoff to end a legal brawl that aired out allegations of a sinister scheme that tore apart the once-friendly companies. Google has worked on autonomous cars since 2009 and Uber since 2015.

Waymo filed its lawsuit against Uber last February, after it mistakenly received an email meant to Uber executives that including images of a LiDAR-related computer chip that it said was identical to its own design.

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