Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car company, declared that it would end its trade secrets lawsuit against Uber if it pays them at least $1 billion and issues a public apology. The latest report cites sources “familiar with the proposal,” and it doesn’t specify the exact dollar amount or when the proposal was tendered.
An independent monitor was also requested by the Waymo to confirm that Uber will not use Waymo technology in the future.
Uber allegedly declined the deal and wants to take the case to court. It is still uncertain when the discussions occurred.
Amy Candido, a Waymo attorney, declined to comment on any settlement talks but said the company’s reasons for suing Uber are “pretty clear.” “Waymo had one goal: to stop Uber from using its trade secrets,” she said. “That remains its goal.”
The lawsuit came out in February. Waymo complained that former engineer and current chief of Uber’s self-driving car project Anthony Levandowski downloaded more than 14,000 confidential files before he resigned from Google. Levandowski is not a suspect in the case and has pleaded the Fifth Amendment, sidestepping questions about the accusations. Levandowski was fired by Uber when he allegedly declined to cooperate with an internal investigation, citing his right not to incriminate himself.
Elizabeth Rowe, a trade secret expert at the University of Florida Levin College of Law said that the aggressive settlement demands suggest that Waymo is not in a hurry to resolve the lawsuit, in part because of its value as a distraction for Uber leadership.
Waymo wants to do more investigating into evidence that Uber had not disclosed earlier. The company has reached out to a San Francisco federal judge to delay the trial from October to early December.
Per reports, there are no other settlement talks scheduled. The judge who is managing the case said that the companies must enter conciliation with a court-appointed magistrate.