Waymo's settlement demands went from $1 billion a year ago, to $500 million this week to $250 million in stock. US District Judge William Alsup issued constant reminders in both his written orders and in-court instructions that the case was to be exclusively focused on the misappropriation of eight alleged trade secrets and "not whether or not Uber is an evil corporation".
"The central issues in this case remains whether or not Uber misappropriated Uber's trade secrets, not whether Uber is an evil corporation", he said in one pretrial hearing. He added that Uber does not believe it used any of Waymo's proprietary information, nor does it believe it acquired Waymo's trade secrets. So Uber started talking to Otto founder Anthony Levandowski, who was still working at Google, about helping Uber develop its laser sensor technology - an essential component for self-driving cars. The settlement also includes an agreement to ensure Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated into Uber technology, which Waymo has said was its main goal in bringing the lawsuit. Of course, we are also competitors.
The legal battle between Waymo and Uber recently got underway but, in a surprise move, the companies reached a settlement to end the courtroom showdown.
The attorney representing Waymo, the self-driving vehicle company spun out of Google, settled its court case with ride-hailing giant Uber on Friday. Waymo asked for $1 billion in settlement talks past year. For that I am sorry.
Most notably, the settlement reflects the difference between Uber's old and new leadership.
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"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", he writes. Neither he nor Uber admitted to obtaining trade secrets.
After a Waymo lawyer finished grilling him, Kalanick turned to a more emotional tale under friendly questioning from an Uber attorney, casting himself as a "little brother" betrayed by an older and more powerful sibling.
The trial so far included testimony from former Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick, who denied a conspiracy to steal trade secrets in a tense two-day court appearance.
The closely watched trial, which started earlier this week, had already seen testimony from Travis Kalanick, the Uber CEO who was ousted past year.
The Stroz report was done as "due diligence" for the Otto acquisition. No, sources say. Instead, both Google and Uber insiders offered the same cynical explanation: Google simply wanted to protect its underlying investment in Uber. These files allegedly contained the secret LiDAR information that Waymo accused Uber of using to speed the progress of its self-driving vehicle team.
In the end, the two companies end up closer together, like a married couple who nearly got divorced.