Uber owes Waymo $244 million after trade-secret settlement

Trade secret files could be stored anywhere witnesses in Waymo Uber trial say

The lawsuit stems from an accusation past year by Waymo, which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet, alleging that certain trade secrets related to the company's custom built Lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor technology were stolen by Uber employee Anthony Levandowski.

Waymo alleged that Anthony Levandowski, who headed up Waymo/Google's self-driving auto division, took confidential intellectual property (roughly 10GB of data files that were downloaded from corporate servers) with him when he left in early 2016 to start Otto.

Uber Technologies settled the highstakes trade-secret theft lawsuit brought by Waymo, resolving a conflict that already cost the ridehailing giant its top driverless auto engineer and threatened to further embarrass the company.

The settlement payment was less of a focus for Waymo than the assurance that Uber isn't using, and won't in the future use, the disputed technology, said another person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Khosrowshahi's style is markedly different from that of Mr. Kalanick, who took a no-holds-barred approach to the business world. While he stayed professional in court, his true competitive nature came through. "He sort of was a little angsty and said, 'Why are you doing my thing?'" Kalanick recalled. Kalanick was asked if he looked at this text and the accompanying link.

The case hinged on Waymo's ability to show not only that Levandowski had taken Google's private source code, but that Uber had used it improperly to catch up with rivals. The files include ones related to LiDAR, a laser-based scanning and mapping technology that driverless cars use to see their surroundings. "This has been a hard process", he said. The courtroom was reportedly shocked by the news that the two overseeing tech giants would finally end the spat this way after months of legal processes.

On Friday, Uber said that they will pay Waymo 0.34% of Uber equity. Then this lawsuit happened.

Levandowski, who was sacked by Uber over his refusal to cooperate with the company's legal defense against the Waymo lawsuit, was expected to testify next week, although he was expected to refuse to answer questions and to exercise his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The company under Kalanick suffered a number of highly publicized black eyes, from its response to sexual harassment allegations to a video showing Kalanick in a blowup with an Uber driver. He still sits on the board.

The sentiment contrasted with the one from Uber co-founder Kalanick, who had testified about his recruitment of an ex-Google engineer whose alleged actions were at the heart of the dispute. Google has worked on autonomous cars since 2009 and Uber since 2015. Kalanick met with Alphabet's current CEO Larry Page and was picked up in a self-driving auto - Kalanick thought that was cool. Uber had rejected those terms, it said. That the path to our autonomous future is going to be a wild ride. He wanted to partner the two ventures, but it never happened.

"My job as Uber's C.E.O.is to set the course for the future of the company: innovating and growing responsibly, as well as acknowledging and correcting mistakes of the past", Mr. Khosrowshahi said in a company blog post.

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