Allegations against Uber that it had stolen trade secrets of the self-driving firm Waymo have bene settled.
Stake worth approximately $245m (£177m) or 0.34 per cent in Uber is being given to Waymo under the agreement.
Even though Uber had maintained it never made use of Waymo’s technologies, the agreement also saw Uber pledging never to do so.
The way his comoany had handled the issue was regretful according to Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi.
In a statement, he said to Waymo: “While we won’t agree on everything going forward, we agree that Uber’s acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently.”
A former Google employee Anthony Levandowski coo-founded the self-driving trucking company Otto. Uber acquired it in 2016 for $650 million.
Former Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick took the stand in a San Francisco federal court just four days ago.
It is alleged that over 14,000 confidential files from Waymo were stolen by him from Waymo at a time when the company was still owned by Google. Currently, Alphabet if the owner of the company.
internal emails referencing demands Mr Kalanick was said to have made were shown to the jury. It was claimed that “pounds of flesh” from Google was wanted by him. The phrase was used “from time to time” by Mr Kalanick, he said.
also exhibited as evidence in the case was a vistors’ pass for Mr Levandowski which was issued during a time when he was still an employee at Google.
Uber still claims that there is no proof of it making use of any of those disputed secrets in its technology and this is the defense that it put up at court.
“We do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber,” said Mr Khosrowshahi.
“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.”
The issue boiled down to considering whether eight trade secrets out of the original 121, w1ere ever used by Uber for its self-driving technology and the jury was asked to deliver its verdict on this. However, all of the discourse of the content of the document that took place before the jury was done in closed sessions and none of the details of the secrets was not made public.
“We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology,” a Waymo spokesman said on Friday.
“This includes an agreement to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software.”
A separate statement was issued by Mr Kalanick. While he is still on the board of Uber, he was earlier removed from the position of chief executive of the company.
“Our sole objective was to hire the most talented scientists and engineers to help lead the company and our cities to a driverless future,” he said.
“The evidence at trial overwhelmingly proved that, and had the trial proceeded to its conclusion, it is clear Uber would have prevailed.”
(Adapted from BBC.com)