Waymo/Google demanded at least $1 billion in damages and a public apology from Uber in settlement talks as the conditions necessary for the lawsuit between the two to be put to rest, according to unnamed sources quoted by Reuters.
Notably, Waymo/Google had also called for an independent monitor to keep a watch on Uber and ensure that the firm didn’t illegally use any of Waymo’s tech at any point in the future — according to the unnamed sources quoted.
Uber apparently rejected all of those terms as non-starters — unsurprisingly, based on company management.
“Waymo’s tough negotiating stance, which has not been previously reported, reflects the company’s confidence in its legal position after months of pretrial victories in a case which may help to determine who emerges in the forefront of the fast-growing field of self-driving cars,” Reuters reports.
“The aggressive settlement demands also suggest that Waymo is not in a hurry to resolve the lawsuit, in part because of its value as a distraction for Uber leadership, said Elizabeth Rowe, a trade secret expert at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. … No further settlement talks are currently scheduled, the sources said. The judge overseeing the case mandated that the companies enter mediation with a court-appointed magistrate.”
As some background here, Google/Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber back in February after the former Google employee Anthony Levandowski was found to have downloaded a large cache of confidential files before leaving the company and setting up a self-driving semi truck firm known as Otto — which was then rapidly acquired by Uber. It’s come out since the lawsuit was filed that Uber execs were in contact with Levandowski since well before he left Google — which obviously raises a number of interesting questions.
Editor’s note: Levandowski has since been fired. If you want to really go off into some Twilight Zone business and find out more about what he’s been doing since then, see: “Scenes From The Twilight Zone: Creating An Artificial Intelligence God.”
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