Uber and Waymo settle trade secrets lawsuit

Uber and Waymo have reached a settlement in their trade secrets lawsuit, lawyers for the companies told a federal cou...

Posted: Feb 9, 2018 8:56 PM
Updated: Feb 9, 2018 8:56 PM

Uber and Waymo have reached a settlement in their trade secrets lawsuit, lawyers for the companies told a federal court in San Francisco Friday morning.

Waymo, which was Google's self-driving car program, had alleged its former engineer Anthony Levandowski downloaded autonomous vehicle trade secrets and took them to Uber.

Waymo accepted a settlement offer from Uber, which agreed to a deal that includes 0.34% of Uber's equity at a $72 billion valuation, which works out to about $245 million, two sources familiar with the matter said. Waymo had initially asked for maximum damages of $1.8 billion.

Google already has equity in Uber. Google invested $258 million in Uber in 2013 and integrated Uber into Google Maps the following year.

A gasp could be heard in the courtroom when attorneys announced the settlement. Presiding Judge William Alsup noted after the announcement that a settlement like this, in the middle of a trial, is rare.

"We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo's intellectual property now and into the future," a Waymo spokesperson said in a statement. "We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology. This includes an agreement to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software."

Related: How Uber and Google went from 'brothers' to enemies

The investigation into potential trade-secret theft began in late 2016 when Waymo accidentally received an email from a supplier containing an attachment that detailed Uber's LiDAR circuit board. Waymo claimed it looked suspiciously like its own design.

LiDAR, or "Light Detection and Ranging," uses pulsating laser beams to measure the distance between objects and can be used to make three-dimensional representations of them. It's crucial to self-driving car development. Waymo alleged that Levandowski took Google trade secrets related to this technology to Uber.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement Friday that the company should have handled the acquisition of Otto, a self-driving truck company founded by Levandowski, differently. Khosrowshahi said Uber does not believe any trade secrets made their way to Uber, however.

"But the prospect that a couple of Waymo employees may have inappropriately solicited others to join Otto, and that they may have potentially left with Google files in their possession, in retrospect, raised some hard questions," he wrote.

Levandowski was expected to testify late Friday or early Monday. The case was likely to go through next week.

Google's parent company Alphabet is now invested in Uber through two different divisions: Waymo and Google Ventures. It also led a $1 billion round in Lyft through CapitalG, another venture capital arm.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501652

Reported Deaths: 10024
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34353540
DeSoto32162408
Hinds31977631
Jackson24508383
Rankin22015390
Lee15596235
Madison14597280
Jones13867243
Forrest13461252
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Lowndes11065188
Lamar10522136
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Hancock7740127
Washington7443160
Oktibbeha7147133
Monroe6787178
Warren6706176
Pontotoc6677104
Neshoba6642206
Panola6542131
Marshall6476135
Bolivar6323150
Union605794
Pike5824152
Alcorn5676102
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George497479
Scott473098
Tippah470381
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Tate4592111
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Leake408688
Newton381779
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Attala331789
Jasper330165
Winston314691
Clay308977
Chickasaw301067
Clarke292594
Calhoun279447
Holmes267987
Smith264150
Yalobusha234547
Tallahatchie228251
Greene219449
Walthall218764
Lawrence213140
Perry205956
Amite205256
Webster203046
Noxubee186840
Montgomery179657
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169338
Tunica160039
Benton149239
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132837
Humphreys129638
Franklin120328
Quitman106528
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94734
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 820312

Reported Deaths: 15407
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1148731924
Mobile726221339
Madison52362697
Shelby37640350
Baldwin37266552
Tuscaloosa35120612
Montgomery34123740
Lee23540246
Calhoun22236488
Morgan20958378
Etowah19838500
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Houston17394412
St. Clair16078339
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Limestone15354199
Elmore15271286
Lauderdale14323295
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DeKalb12664261
Walker11221370
Blount10207176
Autauga10048148
Jackson9877184
Coffee9211191
Dale8904185
Colbert8877201
Tallapoosa7093198
Escambia6778134
Covington6715183
Chilton6648162
Russell637559
Franklin5969105
Chambers5612142
Marion5010127
Dallas4979200
Pike4796106
Clarke475884
Geneva4575127
Winston4522103
Lawrence4327117
Bibb425386
Barbour357876
Marengo338390
Monroe331664
Randolph329864
Butler326796
Pickens316584
Henry312866
Hale311688
Cherokee302960
Fayette294180
Washington251651
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245375
Clay243368
Macon234863
Lamar224847
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Coosa180340
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