Waymo demands Uber pay $1 billion to settle trade-secrets lawsuit

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 3 years ago

Uber balked this week at a request from self-driving car company Waymo of $1 billion and a public apology to settle the ongoing lawsuit over self-driving car technology that Waymo alleges Uber stole from it. Uber has not followed with a counter-offer, and no further settlement talks are scheduled, according to sources.

The impasse follows a motion Waymo has filed earlier in the week demanding that Uber turn over its “lidar” source code, which Uber is using in its model self-driving cars, so that Waymo lawyers could examine the code and see if it bears any striking similarities to Waymo’s code. Alphabet, a Google-owned company that owns Waymo, issued an additional request for the appointment of an independent oversight body that will ensure that Uber doesn’t use Waymo technology.

Uber and Waymo have been in a legal dispute since February, when Waymo sued the rideshare company over alleged theft of trade secrets. Waymo contended that Uber’s self-driving car program based its lidar code on software files that Anthony Levandroski, current head of Uber’s self-driving car project and former Google employee, stole from Waymo when he left Google. Levandroski has pleaded the fifth amendment and refused to answer questions about the accusations.

“Waymo had one goal: to stop Uber from using its trade secrets,” a Waymo attorney told Reuters.

If no settlement occurs, then the case will go to trial in December. Waymo lawyers said in court that they may seek as much as $1.86 billion from Uber if they go through with a trial.