The lawsuits that Uber and Waymo (subsidiary of Google) filed against each other have been one of the most talked about topic of the year 2017 and it seems like we are about to see more action in the current year. Yes, the popular and quite familiar face of Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick has again started appearing in news. Why? Because yesterday Kalanick wrapped up his second and last day on the stand in federal court in San Francisco by repeating his claim that he didn’t hire a top Google engineer for the purpose of stealing technology secrets for self-driving cars.
Travis has claimed in the federal courts that he hired engineer Anthony Levandowski former technical lead on the Waymo’s self-driving project because he was “incredibly visionary, a very good technologist.”
Waymo LLC, a self-driving car project created by Google back in 2009, has claimed that Uber Technologies Inc. stole eight trade secrets with the help of Levandowski, who left Google in January 2016 and joined Uber afterward.
Concluding the court proceedings from the report of the Wired, after leaving Google, Levandowski formed a self-driving truck company called Otto. In April 2016, Uber and Otto agreed that Uber would buy Levandowski’s company, and the acquisition was completed the following August in a deal reported to be worth $680 million in stock and cash.
Waymo’s lawyer argued in the court that Otto was a fake company and the purpose behind it was stealing trade secrets of Google. Travis said that Uber never received or used Waymo’s trade secrets and the technology wasn’t secret, to begin with. He said he hired Levandowski for his talent.
Meanwhile, the alleged trade secrets are about the technology that is used to emit laser beams on surrounding objects and then it sends back the data that enables the self-driving cars to create a 3D picture of their surroundings. The tech is called Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR).