Uber and Waymo settle trade secrets lawsuit

Trade secret files could be stored anywhere witnesses in Waymo Uber trial say

Uber was so driven to "win at all costs" in the race to develop self-driving vehicles that it cheated, a Waymo lawyer told a jury, at an opening salvo in a trade-secrets lawsuit between the technology companies that could help determine who emerges in the forefront of the autonomous auto business.

He was accused of orchestrating a plan to steal more than 14,000 confidential files from Waymo when the firm was still part of Google.

Uber has argued its self-driving sensor designs are unique. The source says that while Uber may have to modify its Lidar technology - the focus of the trade secrets dispute - it will not be leaving the self-driving vehicle business.

The deal comes after four days in court in which former chief executive Travis Kalanick took the stand.

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (left) and Anthony Levandowski (right) co-founder of Otto, pose for a photo in the lobby of Uber headquarters, August 18, 2016, in San Francisco.

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed "regret" for the company's actions.

Anthony Levandowski, who used to work for Waymo, left the company in January 2016 to found self-driving start-up Otto, which Uber swiftly purchased in July 2016 for $700m.

Waymo sought unspecified damages for theft of trade secrets, patent infringement and unfair competition.

In one text, Kalanick agreed with Levandowski's comment that "second place is first loser". In the trial's surreal high-water mark, a clip of the legendary "greed is good" speech from the 1987 film "Wall Street" was played for the jury and the public. Uber has claimed its own technology was significantly different. Of course, we are also competitors. Levandowski was sacked from Uber in May 2017 because the company said he refused to cooperate with Uber in the Waymo lawsuit and did not hand over information requested of him in the case. And while we won't agree on everything going forward, we agree that Uber's acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently.

"But the prospect that a couple of Waymo employees may have inappropriately solicited others to join Otto, and that they may have potentially left with Google files in their possession, in retrospect, raised some hard questions", he wrote.

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