Uber settles with Google in tech theft lawsuit

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In 2015, at the start of the civil case, Waymo accused Uber of using trade secrets stolen by one of its former engineers.

Waymo and Uber announced an agreement Friday in the blockbuster federal lawsuit over allegedly stolen trade secrets from the former Google self-driving auto project.

"As part of the deal, Waymo gets a 0.34% stake in Uber, worth about $245 million based on Uber's current $72 billion valuation, a Waymo representative said".

Kalanick, a polarizing figure who resigned as Uber's CEO last June, had already spent part of two days on the stand reviewing old texts between him and Levandowski indicating that they were willing to go to any lengths to catch up with a self-driving vehicle project that Google started in 2009.

"We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology", the statement said.

Levandowski, who was on the list as a possible witness, left Google for his own startup called Otto, which was later acquired by Uber.

For Waymo, the settlement protects the technology that has vaulted it into the early lead in the self-driving auto market and provides a measure of personal vindication for Google co-founder Larry Page, who is now CEO of Alphabet Inc., the parent of both Waymo and Google. Waymo could have filed additional claims against Uber in the months and years ahead, but that's no longer a possibility unless Waymo finds additional evidence of Uber using its technology. During two days of testimony, Kalanick explained how his relationship with Larry Page, Alphabet's chief executive, had deteriorated amid growing paranoia at the two companies about their competing autonomous-vehicle projects. Levandowski, who isn't a defendant in the lawsuit, refused to answer questions from Waymo and turn over documents, citing his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

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Kalanick stepped down as Uber's chief executive in June as the company grappled with the fallout from several scandals.

Image credit: Headshot of Dara Khosrowshahi by Expedia, Inc.

Also notable is that Waymo had agreed to a settlement of around $500 million earlier this week, but Uber's board of directors rejected that. "Our sole objective was to hire the most talented scientists and engineers to help lead the company and our cities to a driverless future".

According to a Bloomberg report, a spokesman for Waymo said the company "reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo's intellectual property now and into the future".

He added, "To our friends at Alphabet: we are partners, you are an important investor in Uber, and we share a deep belief in the power of technology to change people's lives for the better". "We have always believed competition should be fueled by innovation in the labs and on the roads, and we look forward to bringing fully self-driving cars to the world". However, Khosrowshahi also admitted that Uber's acquisition of Otto "should have been handled differently", and he acknowledged the new relationship shared by the two companies.

Kalanick released a statement in which he was not almost as conciliatory as the man who succeeded him in Uber's top job.

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

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