Uber has to pay Waymo or adjust his self-driving auto tech
Uber probably has to conclude a license agreement with Waymo or adapt his designs around self-driving cars. This conclusion follows after an investigation by a software expert who looked at whether Uber has used intellectual property of Waymo.
In a report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Uber describes that the independent software expert recently shared findings that the company described as “adverse.” This concerns ‘certain functions in our autonomous vehicle software’, says Uber.
This expert was part of a settlement agreement between Waymo and Uber in February 2018, whereby Uber paid $245 million. That settlement was the result of a lawsuit that Waymo filed in 2017, because Uber would have stolen technology for self-driving cars.
Hiring the independent software expert was part of the settlement. Uber says the findings of this expert are final, although the company does not provide other details about these findings. Based on Uber’s report, it appears that it has used technology in some areas that infringes Waymo’s intellectual property. That means that license payments to Waymo are likely to follow, or Uber should choose to modify its technology used in parts.
In a statement to Reuters news agency , a Waymo spokesperson said the software expert’s findings are a new confirmation of Waymo’s claims that Uber has unfairly appropriated intellectual property of software. Uber did not want to give further details.
Waymo claimed in early 2017 that former Google employee Anthony Levandowski had taken a total of 14,000 files with him on his departure in 2016, which would contain a lot of technical data about Google’s sensors. After his departure, Levandowski founded the company Otto, which investigated self-driving trucks. That company was subsequently bought up by Uber. Levandowski was confronted with 33 allegations of federal prosecutors in August , all related to theft and attempted theft of trade secrets.