Waymo and Uber reach settlement in trade secret case

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In a surprising move only four days after the two companies went to court over a trade secrets case, USA -based ridesharing giant Uber has settled with Google-parent Alphabet's Waymo autonomous vehicle division.

"They chose to win at all costs", Waymo attorney Charles Verhoeven told the jury on Monday.

"This case is ancient history".

Under the settlement, Uber and Ottomotto have agreed to pay Waymo a financial settlement that includes 0.34 percent of Uber's $72 billion equity, a deal valued at $245 million.

No other dollar figure was disclosed. The report also says Waymo proposed a $500 million settlement earlier this week but that was rejected by Uber's board on Tuesday. The figure is significantly less than what Waymo was originally seeking as the publication says the company wanted at least $1 billion past year.

"We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo's intellectual property now and into the future", the statement reads.

After a week of testimony that shined a spotlight on often aggressive competitive tactics taken by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, new uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi apologized to its competitor. Given that landscape, along with the fact that Alphabet CEO Larry Page could have had to testify next week, the settlement makes sense for Waymo, she said. Khosrowshahi said the company doesn't believe any of Waymo's trade secrets or proprietary information was used by the company but they are working to "put integrity at the core of every decision we make".

Uber's former chief executive Travis Kalanick and Anthony Levandowski, the incredibly talented and incredibly ambitious technologist whose decision to leave Google's self-driving vehicle program for Uber set off the lawsuit in the first place, both came out of the proceedings looking appropriately awful (they acted terribly).

"As Uber's statement indicates, no trade secrets ever came to Uber".

Kalanick appeared subdued in front of jurors, but he returned to his famously pugnacious style in a statement on Friday, saying Uber's sole objective was to hire the most talented scientists and engineers. The lawsuit was contentious, and Uber was accused of destroying evidence during discovery.


Making ride-hailing cars autonomous is considered critical to companies such as Uber and its rival Lyft, because paying the driver creates a business model with little room for profit.

A jury trial to decide a lawsuit filed by Waymo a year ago was dismissed by the judge just five days after it started in San Francisco federal court.

"There is no question that self-driving technology is crucial to the future of transportation-a future in which Uber intends to play an important role".

Uber acquired Ottomotto for $680 million in August 2016, three months after the startup launched publicly.

Khosrowshashi said he didn't think Uber had stolen trade secrets from Waymo, but that some of its employees may have inappropriately taken files from Google before they left.

Another source points out that the subject of whether Uber actually used Waymo's trade secrets had barely surfaced during the first week of the trial.

The case revolved around Uber's purchase of Otto, which was founded by Anthony Levandowski, a former engineer at Google. Google has worked on autonomous cars since 2009 and Uber since 2015.

Uber attorney Arturo Gonzalez of Morrison Foerster commented after the hearing: "I'm going to go walk my dog", a cocker spaniel named Goya.

The top brass inside Uber are thrilled with the performance of Uber's new top lawyer Tony West.

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