Uber reaches settlement with Waymo in dispute over trade secrets

Russ Mitchell and Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

Neither company said it won or lost, but in a prepared statement, Kalanick, who remains an Uber board member, expressed vindication and theoretical victory: "As Uber's statement indicates, no trade secrets ever came to Uber ... the evidence at trial overwhelmingly proved that, and had the trial proceeded to its conclusion, it is clear Uber would have prevailed."

In the settlement, Uber did not admit to any legal wrongdoing.

"To be clear, while we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo's proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work," Khosrowshahi said.

Trial testimony made clear that Levandowski downloaded 14,107 proprietary documents from Waymo to his personal laptop before leaving to lead Uber's self-driving project in January 2016 and copied those files to external devices.

Although those files weren't found on Uber servers, computer forensics experts testified that the information could be stored practically anywhere.

Waymo charged that the downloaded files contained eight trade secrets that Uber used in laser-sensor technology to try to catch up with Waymo in the potentially hot new market for self-driving cars. If the trial had continued to the end, the jury would have been instructed to determine whether the information was truly trade secrets, and that Uber possessed them.

In its own statement, Waymo said it is committed to "working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology."


"We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo's intellectual property now and into the future," the company said.

"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."

(c)2018 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

--Sponsored Video--


blog comments powered by Disqus