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Waymo Demands Settlement from Uber

A report was made stating that Alphabet Waymo asked Uber for a public apology and at least $1 billion as settlement for its high-profile trade secret lawsuit against the ride-services company.
waymo self-driving car
Waymo’s self driving car turning on the streets, rear view.

A report was made stating that Alphabet Waymo asked Uber for a public apology and at least $1 billion as settlement for its high-profile trade secret lawsuit against the ride-services company.

Aside from the stated conditions above, Waymo also asked for the appointment of an independent monitor to make sure that Uber wouldn’t use the former’s trade secrets in the future.

The sources, who were not allowed to discuss settlement talks publicly, said that “Uber rejected those terms as non-starters.” The exact dollar amount requested, as well as the time the offer was made, could not be learned.

Waymo’s aggressive settlements as well as their tough negotiating stance, something that has not been reported before, shows the company’s confidence in its legal position after continuously winning at pretrial, in a case that might determine who will take the forefront spot of the fast-growing field of autonomous cars, for the past months.

Alphabet’s developer of self-driving car units was also noted by an analyst to not be in a hurry of settling the lawsuit with Uber. The analyst also said that the reason behind this could be “its value as a distraction for Uber leadership.”

A recent trial was delayed due to Waymo’s persuasion of a San Francisco federal judge, after saying that further investigation of evidence Uber has not previously disclosed must be done.

The sources disclosed that there are no further settlement talks that are currently scheduled.

Amy Candido, a Waymo attorney, turned down any request for comment regarding the settlement talks but said that the company’s reason for suing Uber is “pretty clear.”

The attorney said, “Waymo had one goal: to stop Uber from using its trade secrets.” She then added, “That remains its goal.”

Uber did not release any statement.

Not the First Lawsuit

Uber OTTO truck parked in hq
OTTO, a service acquired by Uber later after it started, self-driving truck parked in their headquarters.

This lawsuit is not the first one Waymo filed against Uber this year.

Uber was sued by Waymo in February under the claim that the latter’s former engineer, Anthony Levandowski downloaded more than 14,000 confidential files before leaving to start his own self-driving truck company, Otto, which was acquired by Uber soon after.

Levandowski was regarded as a visionary in autonomous technology, he was then prohibited to work on Lidar, a key sensor technology for autonomous cars which is the root of the litigation, as Waymo’s request of a pretrial injunction in May was granted by the U.S. District Judge, William Alsup.

Uber later fired Levandowski, after the engineer refused to give back the Waymo documents that were the source of the case.

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