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Judge orders Uber not to use technology taken from Waymo

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Uber's self driving car plans have been thrown into chaos after a federal judge ordered Uber to stop using technology that a key executive downloaded before he left Waymo, the Alphabet Inc. autonomous car arm that was spun off from Google. The order filed Monday in a trade secrets theft lawsuit also forces Uber to return all downloaded materials. Judge William Alsup in San Francisco says in the ruling that Waymo has shown compelling evidence that a former star engineer named Anthony Levandowski downloaded confidential files before leaving Waymo. High-profile: Levandowski, a'swaggering' six-foot-seven tech leader, is one of Silicon Valley's most significant figures in the development of self-driving cars In lidar -- or light detection and ranging -- scanning, one or more lasers sends out short pulses, which bounce back when they hit an obstacle, whether clouds, leaves or rocks. In self-driving cars, the sensors constantly scan the surrounding areas looking for information and acting as the'eyes' of the car.


Judge orders Uber not to use driverless-car tech from Google spinoff Waymo

Los Angeles Times

A federal judge has ordered Uber to stop using technology that a key executive downloaded before he left Waymo, the Alphabet Inc. autonomous car arm that was spun off from Google. The order filed Monday in a trade secrets theft lawsuit also requires Uber to return all downloaded materials. The high-stakes corporate espionage case revolves around Waymo's allegations that Uber's work on self-driving cars has been riding on trade secrets stolen by a former Waymo engineer, Anthony Levandowski. Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said in Monday's ruling that Waymo has shown compelling evidence that Levandowski downloaded confidential files before leaving Waymo. The judge also said evidence shows that before he left Waymo, Levandowski and Uber planned for Uber to acquire a company formed by Levandowski.


Uber allowed to continue self-driving car project but must return files to Waymo

The Guardian

A judge has granted a partial reprieve to Uber in its high-profile intellectual property lawsuit with Google's self-driving car operation, allowing the ride-hailing company to continue developing its autonomous vehicle technology. The judge, however, has barred an Uber executive accused of stealing trade secrets from Google spin-off Waymo from continuing to work on self-driving cars' radar technology, and has ordered Uber to return downloaded documents to Waymo. The judge also said that evidence indicates that Waymo's intellectual property has "seeped into Uber's own … development efforts" – suggesting that Uber could face a tough battle as the case moves ahead. Google's lawyers were seeking a broader injunction against Uber, which could have significantly impeded the taxi startup's entire self-driving car program, a move that could have been a fatal setback. The partial victory for Uber follows a judge's recommendation that federal prosecutors launch a criminal investigation into the accusations that it stole Waymo's technology.


Uber threatens to fire former Google engineer over self-driving car spat with Waymo

The Guardian

Uber has threatened to fire Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer at the centre of Uber's court case with Alphabet's Waymo, accused of stealing self-driving car trade secrets. Waymo sued Uber alleging that Levandowski, one of the former engineers key to the development of Google's self-driving cars, downloaded more than 14,000 confidential documents before leaving Waymo to start self-driving truck firm Otto, which was subsequently bought by Uber. According to a court filing, Uber told Levandowski that he must comply with an order to return Waymo documents or face possible termination. Uber general counsel, Salle Yoo, wrote in a letter to Levandowski: "If you do not agree to comply with all of the requirements set forth herein, or if you fail to comply in a material manner, then Uber will take adverse employment action against you, which may include termination of your employment." The case, which pits the two companies battling for dominance in the fast-growing field of self-driving cars, hinges on Waymo's allegations that data taken by Levandowski made its way into a key sensor system for self-driving cars called Lidar.


Waymo has 'no smoking gun' in Uber self driving car case

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A U.S. judge on Wednesday said he had not seen clear evidence that Uber Technologies Inc had conspired with an engineer on its self driving car program to steal trade secrets from Alphabet Inc's Waymo, and that he was wrestling with whether to issue an injunction against the ride service. At a hearing in San Francisco federal court, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said it was undisputed that the engineer, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded about 14,000 documents shortly before he stopped working for Waymo. If it were proven that Levandowski and Uber conspired in taking Waymo's information, that could have dire consequences for Uber, say legal and ride-hailing industry experts. High-profile: Levandowski, a'swaggering' six-foot-seven tech leader, is one of Silicon Valley's most significant figures in the development of self-driving cars In lidar -- or light detection and ranging -- scanning, one or more lasers sends out short pulses, which bounce back when they hit an obstacle, whether clouds, leaves or rocks. In self-driving cars, the sensors constantly scan the surrounding areas looking for information and acting as the'eyes' of the car.