Uber & Waymo Agree to $245 M Settlement over IP Suit

In the Waymo and Uber legal battle over stolen trade self-driving secrets, both parties agreed that Waymo will get 0.34 percent of Uber’s equity of Uber’s $72 billion valuation, which equals around $245 million.

Waymo contends that their former engineer Anthony Levandowski took 14,000 files including schematics and designs for self-driving hardware while he was an employee, and took them to his autonomous-driving startup, Otto, which was bought by Uber in 2016.

“We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo’s intellectual property now and into the future,” a Waymo spokesperson said in a statement. “We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology. This includes an agreement to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software.”

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber wrote regarding a settlement reached inwith Waymo.

“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. Through that lens, the acquisition of Otto made good business sense,” he writes.

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.

Khosrowahai noted that integrity will be the core of every decision.

“As Uber’s statement indicates, no trade secrets ever came to Uber,” said Travis Kalanick, former CEO, in an official statement. “Our sole objective was to hire the most talented scientists and engineers to help lead the company and our cities to a driverless future.” Kalanick said that the evidence “overwhelmingly proved that” and that it was “clear” that Uber was going to win.

The trade-secret problems began in late 2016 when Waymo accidentally received an email from a supplier with an attachment that detailed Uber’s LiDAR circuit board. Waymo claimed it looked suspiciously like its own design.

The investment in Uber could be useful for Waymo when it creates partners for it self-driving technology, which Uber may need.

Google’s parent company invested in Uber through Waymo and Google Ventures. It also spent $1 billion in Lyft through the CapitalG venture capital arm.

Uber was nominated for AUTO Connected Car News’ Tech CARS Edsel Yugo Award for the biggest automotive SNAFU of 2017.