Uber reaches almost quarter billion dollar settlement with Waymo as trial dismissed
Uber reaches almost quarter billion dollar settlement with Waymo as trial dismissed
Uber and Waymo settle self-driving car case for $244m in equity
10 February, 2018, 02:17
Waymo's lawyer Charles Voehoeven addresses the jury in the Waymo v. Uber trial over allegedly stolen self-driving auto trade secrets.
Uber has maintained there's no evidence that the files Levandowski downloaded contained trade secrets, or that the information made it into Uber's technology and designs. Uber had initially offered to settle the case for $490 million just before the start of the trial Monday, but that agreement didn't provide Waymo with enough assurances that its technology wouldn't be improperly used, according to two people familiar with the thinking of both parties in the lawsuit.
Uber wound up firing Levandowski last May after he refused to relinquish his constitutional rights against self-incrimination when questioned about whether he stole trade secrets before leaving Google. He added that Uber does not believe it used any of Waymo's proprietary information, nor does it believe it acquired Waymo's trade secrets. I've told Alphabet that the incredible people at Uber ATG are focused on ensuring that our development represents the very best of Uber's innovation and experience in self-driving technology. "We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology", the statement said. Of course, we are also competitors.
In an online post, Uber CEO Dana Khosrowshahi expressed regret that the argument had to resort to litigation. The figure is significantly less than what Waymo was originally seeking as the publication says the company wanted at least $1 billion past year. For that I am sorry.
Uber has gone on to raise more than $14 billion in new funding and last month closed a deal with SoftBank Group Corp, in which the Japanese conglomerate, along with other investors, took about a 17.5 percent stake in the company.
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"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", he writes.
The trade secrets case began on February 5th, 2018. Judge Alsup had instructed Waymo to bring a separate lawsuit against Uber if it wished to block the company from using its software.
"Generally, Google was super not happy, unpumped about us doing this", said Kalanick, who stepped down as Uber's chief executive in June. The settlement caps a week of contentious proceedings, including testimony from embattled former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
Still, Uber sees this as a big win, especially since it clears the deck for the company ahead of its expected public offering. In April 2016, Uber and Ottoagreed that Uber would buy Levandowski's company, and the acquisition was completed the following August in a deal reported to be worth $680 million in stock and cash. While Uber's former CEO Travis Kalanick probably likely would have continued fighting, no matter the cost, Khosrowshahi saw the value in putting the case behind him. As part of the agreement, Uber will pay Waymo $244.8 million in equity. He's looking to improve Uber's relationship with drivers, negotiate with cities such as London that threaten to boot the service, and generally present a public face that contrasts with the take-no-prisoners approach of his predecessor.
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