Uber in addition to 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 in addition to took them to Uber.
Waymo accepted a settlement offer via Uber, which agreed to a deal of which 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 in addition to integrated Uber into Google Maps the following year.
A gasp could be heard within the courtroom when attorneys announced the settlement. Presiding Judge William Alsup noted after the announcement of which a settlement like This kind of, within the middle of a trial, can be rare.
“We have reached an agreement with Uber of which we believe will protect Waymo’s intellectual property today in addition to into the future,” a Waymo spokesperson said in a statement. “We are committed to working with Uber to make sure of which each company develops its own technology. This kind of includes an agreement to ensure of which any Waymo confidential information can be not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware in addition to software.”
Related: How Uber in addition to Google went via ‘brothers’ to enemies
The investigation into potential trade-secret theft began in late 2016 when Waymo accidentally received an email via a supplier containing an attachment of which detailed Uber’s LiDAR circuit board. Waymo claimed the idea looked suspiciously like its own design.
LiDAR, or “Light Detection in addition to Ranging,” uses pulsating laser beams to measure the distance between objects in addition to can be used to make three-dimensional representations of them. the idea’s crucial to self-driving car development. Waymo alleged of which Levandowski took Google trade secrets related to This kind of technology to Uber.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement Friday of which 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.
“yet the prospect of which a couple of Waymo employees may have inappropriately solicited others to join Otto, in addition to of which they may have potentially left with Google files in their possession, in retrospect, raised some hard questions,” he wrote.
Levandowski was likely to testify late Friday or early Monday. The case was likely to go through next week.
Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in a statement of which evidence at trial showed no trade secrets got to Uber.
“[H]ad the trial proceeded to its conclusion, the idea can be clear Uber would certainly have prevailed,” he said.
According to Justin Hughes, an intellectual property law professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, the idea may have been difficult for Waymo attorneys to prove of which Uber used the trade secrets Levandowski allegedly stole. of which’s because California has strong protections for employees to take their skills in addition to knowledge to different companies, in addition to the bar to prove misappropriation of trade secrets can be high.
Hughes also said the idea’s evident Google doesn’t have a direct route into the self-driving car market like Uber running an on-demand ride service or General Motors manufacturing cars.
“the idea’s possible [Waymo can be] thinking of which by taking an equity stake in Uber, they are changing their place at the table,” Hughes said. “Instead of gambling of which Uber has to fail completely, they’re taking a brand-new gamble of which Uber will fail in self-driving technology, yet want to deploy a self-driving fleet — in addition to be a customer in need of Waymo’s technology.”
Google’s parent company Alphabet can be today invested in Uber through two different divisions: Waymo in addition to Google Ventures. the idea also led a $1 billion round in Lyft through CapitalG, another venture capital arm.
sy88pgw (brand-new York) First published February 9, 2018: 11:07 AM ET