Uber, Waymo reach settlement in dispute over trade theft secrets
Uber and Waymo, the driverless car arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, have settled their lawsuit over allegations that Uber stole driverless car trade secrets.
In a statement posted on its website Friday morning, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi struck a conciliatory tone, expressing regret over the company’s actions.
“To our friends at Alphabet: we are partners, you are an important investor in Uber, and we share a deep belief in the power of technology to change people’s lives for the better,” he wrote. “Of course, we are also competitors. 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.”
The settlement came in the first week of the trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Waymo had sued Uber, alleging that the ride-hailing start-up possessed stolen trade secrets covering driverless car technology.
Uber did not admit to any legal wrongdoing.
“To be clear, while we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work,” Khosrowshahi said.
In its statement, Waymo said it is committed to “working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology.”
“We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo’s intellectual property now and into the future,” the company said.
“We have always believed competition should be fueled by innovation in the labs and on the roads and we look forward to bringing fully self-driving cars to the world.”