The Former Head of Uber ATG Must Pay Google $179 Million to Settle Dispute Over Stolen Trade Secrets
【Summary】Anthony Levandowski, the former head of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, was ordered to pay $179 million to settle a dispute with Google over stolen trade secrets, according to a court order on Wednesday.
Anthony Levandowski, the former head of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) which is the self-driving car unit of ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc, was ordered to pay $179 million, which includes attorney fees, to settle a dispute with Google over stolen trade secrets, according to a court order on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Levandowski, was a key engineer in Google's self-driving project, and a co-founder of Otto, engaged in unfair competition and breached their legal obligations by starting a rival company using Google's driverless car technology and employees, an arbitration panel ruled in December.
Levandowski is a former Google engineer who worked on the search giant's self-driving car program at the company's Waymo division along with his colleague Lior Ron. Levandowski and Ron abruptly resigned from Waymo without notice in January 2016 and co-founded self-driving trucking company Otto, taking other employees with him.
Otto was purchased by Uber in August 2016 for around $680 million in order to help jumpstart Uber's own self-driving car efforts. After the acquisition, Levandowski was hired to lead Uber ATG and develop its self-driving technology.
Before his departure from Google in early 2016, Levandowski was accused of downloading over 14,000 documents or 9.6 GB of files and other trade secrets from Google's servers. The documents contained trade secrets and schematics related to lidar development.
Lidar is a 3D laser technology that's used on autonomous vehicles for identifying objects such as other vehicles and pedestrians in order for self-driving vehicles to safely navigate.
In February 2017, Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber over the alleged theft of the documents and accused Levandowski of sharing trade secrets with Uber.
Levandowski stepped down from his role at Uber ATG in April 2017, but was eventually fired from the company a month later for refusing to cooperate with the subsequent investigation.
Waymo and Uber eventually settled their dispute a year later in February 2018, with Waymo receiving a 0.34 percent stake in Uber, worth about $245 million at the time.
The settlement includes an agreement to ensure that Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated into any of Uber's technology, which Waymo has said was its main reason for the lawsuit to begin with.
Uber was lucky to avoid a sustainable payout. Waymo was originally seeking up to $1 billion from Uber.
However, In August 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice stepped in and filed criminal charges against Levandowski for the theft of the trade secrets.
Ron eventually settled with Google for $9.7 million last month. However Levandowski had disputed the ruling ordering him to pay $127 million without including legal fees. On Wednesday, Reuters reported that a San Francisco County court confirmed the arbitration panel's decision and award.
Waymo said it would "continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our confidential information is protected."
Waymo confirmed that Uber had paid the $9.7 million owed by Ron, as Uber indemnifies workers under its employment agreements. However, Uber said in financial filings that it expects to challenge having to pay for Levandowski, who is still fighting the separate federal indictment.
resource from: Reuters
The NIO ET7 Will Come Standard With an Advanced Dolby Atmos-Powered Sound System Co-Developed With Audio Pioneer Dirac
Audi Hits EV Startup NIO With a Trademark Lawsuit Over its Vehicle Naming
EV Startup VinFast is Offering 3 Years of Free EV Charging and Advanced Driver Assist System for Customers That Reserve a Vehicle Through Sept 30
Ford Motor Co is Recalling 2.9 Million Vehicle That Could ‘Roll Away’ After the Transmission is Shifted Into Park
Ford Issues ‘Stop Sale’ of the Electric Mustang Mach-E Over Possible Loss of Propulsion While Driving
Tesla Rival NIO Plans to Produce its Own EV Battery Packs to Improve Profitability
China Added 963,000 Electric Vehicle Charging Piles Since January in its Push to Lead the World in EV Sales
The Affordable New Smart Brand Electric Crossover Designed by Mercedes-Benz Officially Launches in China
- The 2023 Polestar 2: Delivery Updates, New Pricing, Color Options and New Tech
- Vietnamese Electric Vehicle Startup VinFast Files for U.S. IPO, Recently Signed MoU to Build a $4 Billion EV Factory in North Carolina
- China’s NIO Inc is in Talks to License its EV Battery Swapping Technology to Other Automakers
- Electrify America is Redesigning its Future EV Charging Stations to Provide a More Customer-Focused Experience
- Ford F-150 Lightning Range, MPGe Leaked in Window Stickers
- Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk Has a New Role, Twitter Board Member
- $12,500 Federal EV Tax Credit Proposal Reportedly Dropped
- Ultra-Fast EV Charger Developer FreeWire Technologies Launches its New Global Headquarters, R&D, and Manufacturing Facility in Newark, California
- Ford Motor Co is Recalling 39,000 Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs Over Engine Fire Risk
- GM’s Buick Division is Getting a Makeover, Will Only Offer Electric Vehicles by the End of the Decade