Uber agrees to Pay Waymo $245 Million in Settlement

February 10 11:55 2018

Waymo alleges that Levandowski heisted eight trade secrets from Google before leaving the company in January 2016.

First of all, it’s worth noting that this lawsuit was between Waymo and Uber, not Waymo and Levandowski. Those alleged secrets came from Google’s self-driving vehicle project, which later became Waymo.

Under the deal, Uber will pay Waymo, which is part of Alphabet, Inc., a settlement valued by Waymo at $245 million.

According to another source, Uber came to Waymo last week with a $500 million offer, but no promises about hardware and software use, in the hopes of heading off the trial before it began. Waymo also asked for an apology. Uber rejects the financial damages claim. They announced a surprise settlement, and Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, said that he regretted the actions that led to the lawsuit. Alphabet’s thinking is that Otto, and more importantly Levandowski, was a huge “get” for Uber thanks to the Waymo/Google IP that Levandowski was able to obtain.

“This has the look of two companies trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat”, said Dan Handman, a Los Angeles lawyer specializing in trade secrets for the firm Hirschfeld Kraemer.

Uber’s CEO acknowledged that they should have handled their acquisition of OttoMotto-the company founded by the former Google driverless technology engineer-“differently”.

Lidar is a laser-based technology that when used by autonomous vehicles creates a three-dimensional view of the surroundings. One of those tasks is taking the ride-hailing company public next year, in what is likely to be a blockbuster initial public offering.

Waymo said in a statement Friday that the settlement would protect its intellectual property “now and into the future”.

“Their risks would have gone up on many levels”, Rowe said. Waymo said it’s pleased with the settlement, and wrote, “we are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology”. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to confirm or deny whether an investigation was underway.

Levandowski is not a defendant in the case.

Nearly a year ago, Waymo accused Uber of stealing its self-driving technology. The company has also experienced turmoil at the top with the ousting of Kalanick in June and a bitter board dispute. It is far from achieving those ambitions.

Waymo is deploying its own self-driving rideshare programme at the same time and has ordered “thousands” of vehicles from Fiat Chrysler for its service. It has since acquired the permit but it still does not have self-driving cars transporting passengers in its home city.

There are a total of 99 potential witnesses between the two companies, according to court documents, including Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Benchmark venture capitalist and Uber investor Bill Gurley and Alphabet executive David Drummond. SoftBank bought the majority of its stake at about a 30 percent discount from Uber’s valuation.

The settlement includes an agreement “to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software”

Uber agrees to Pay Waymo $245 Million in Settlement
 
 
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