It is the trial of the year in the Silicon Valley and it will only start on 4 December 2017, after the complainant, Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet (specialized in autonomous car), has obtained a deferral. This last is opposed to Uber that it accuses of having used, for its own autonomous car, the technology stolen by a former engineer of Google.
But before going to court, according to information obtained by sources close to the matter by Reuters, Waymo had proposed to Uber a friendly settlement agreement.
A billion dollars to avoid the complaint
Reuters does not reveal at what time Waymo would have proposed this agreement to Uber but this would be before the complaint in February 2017, the tribunal of Commerce of San Francisco. In this agreement, Waymo would have claimed an amount of at least one billion dollars, not that the exact amount could not be known, so that no complaint is filed against Uber.
The agreement further provided for an apology from Uber, but, more importantly, the technology developed by Uber for the autonomous car to be the subject of an independent audit to ensure that the latter does not use any technology stolen at Waymo. According to the same sources, Uber would have denied the deal, which would have led Waymo to lodge formally a complaint against the start-up founded by Travis Kalanick.
A trial is thought to last
The trial, which will open on December 4, 2017, will have to determine if Uber was aware of the 14,000 files stolen by Anthony Levandowski at Waymo on his departure from Google ; if Uber had knowledge of the theft during the acquisition of the start-up Otto founded by Levandowski and above all, if Uber has used some of these technologies to develop its own autonomous car.
The last request of Waymo in terms of damages and interest would be $ 1.9 billion, according to Reuters, down from $ 2.6 billion requested initially. But Waymo to prepare, especially a trial that is expected to last for a long time : as long as Uber is a trial against it, the start-up is diverted from its development of the autonomous car, which leaves an advantage to Waymo to continue his project.
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Changed the 13/10/2017 to 11: 30 am