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Bombshell! Alphabet's Waymo sues Uber for allegedly stealing self-driving car secrets

BurgerTiime

Well-Known Member
http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/23/14719906/google-waymo-uber-self-driving-lawsuit-stolen-technology
Complaint: https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/340149181/Waymo-complaint-against-Otto-and-Uber?skip_app_promo=true

AN ACCIDENTALLY CC’D EMAIL LEADS TO A SHOCKING REVELATION

Waymo, the self-driving car company spun-off late last year by Google, is suing Uber and its self-driving truck company Otto, claiming the ride-hail giant stole its key technology.

According to a lawsuit filed today in federal court in California, Waymo accuses Anthony Levandowski, an engineer who left Google to found Otto and now serves as a top ranking Uber executive, stole 14,000 highly confidential documents from Google before departing to start his own company. Among the documents were schematics of a circuit board and details about radar and LIDAR technology, Waymo says.

In a Medium post, Waymo goes into greater detail about its allegations against Levandowski:

We found that six weeks before his resignation this former employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems, including designs of Waymo’s LiDAR and circuit board. To gain access to Waymo’s design server, Mr. Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop. Once inside, he downloaded 9.7 GB of Waymo’s highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation. Then he connected an external drive to the laptop. Mr. Levandowski then wiped and reformatted the laptop in an attempt to erase forensic fingerprints.

Beyond Mr. Levandowki’s actions, we discovered that other former Waymo employees, now at Otto and Uber, downloaded additional highly confidential information pertaining to our custom-built LiDAR including supplier lists, manufacturing details and statements of work with highly technical information.


AN ACCIDENTALLY CC’D EMAIL LEADS TO A SHOCKING REVELATION
The most insane thing about this story is that Waymo claims it was alerted to Otto and Uber’s alleged treachery by a mistakenly CC’d email. “Waymo was recently – and apparently inadvertently – copied on an email from one of its LiDAR component vendors. The email attached machine drawings of what purports to be an Uber LiDAR circuit board,” the complaint reads. “This circuit board bears a striking resemblance to Waymo’s own highly confidential and proprietary design and reflects Waymo trade secrets.”

The complaint continues, “As this email shows, Otto and Uber are currently building and deploying (or intending to deploy) LiDAR systems (or system components) using Waymo’s trade secret designs. This email also shows that Otto and Uber’s LiDAR systems infringe multiple LiDAR technology patents awarded to Waymo.”

Waymo claims that Levandowski’s alleged actions were part of a “concerted plan to steal Waymo’s trade secrets and intellectual property,” adding that “months before the mass download of files, Mr. Levandowski told colleagues that he had plans to ‘replicate’ Waymo’s technology at a competitor.”


Waymo is asking the court to block Otto and Uber from using its self-driving technology, and for a return of the allegedly stolen materials.

A spokesperson for Uber said in a statement, “We take the allegations made against Otto and Uber employees seriously and we will review this matter carefully.

Meet The Former Google Engineer Who Allegedly Stole Secrets For Uber
https://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2017/02/23/meet-the-former-google-engineer-who-allegedly-stole-secrets-for-uber-anthony-levandowski/#6aedf8725c5e
 
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BurgerTiime

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Travis probably got served that's why he was crying.
Yeah, what was he thinking, he was going to get away with it? I was wondering how Uber all of a sudden had self-driving cars when they JUST started and Google was working for years to get to that point. This is huge. Travis stole the app idea and now this. He will be forced to step down soon.
 
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tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/23/14719906/google-waymo-uber-self-driving-lawsuit-stolen-technology
Complaint: https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/340149181/Waymo-complaint-against-Otto-and-Uber?skip_app_promo=true

AN ACCIDENTALLY CC’D EMAIL LEADS TO A SHOCKING REVELATION

Waymo, the self-driving car company spun-off late last year by Google, is suing Uber and its self-driving truck company Otto, claiming the ride-hail giant stole its key technology.

According to a lawsuit filed today in federal court in California, Waymo accuses Anthony Levandowski, an engineer who left Google to found Otto and now serves as a top ranking Uber executive, stole 14,000 highly confidential documents from Google before departing to start his own company. Among the documents were schematics of a circuit board and details about radar and LIDAR technology, Waymo says.

In a Medium post, Waymo goes into greater detail about its allegations against Levandowski:

We found that six weeks before his resignation this former employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems, including designs of Waymo’s LiDAR and circuit board. To gain access to Waymo’s design server, Mr. Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop. Once inside, he downloaded 9.7 GB of Waymo’s highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation. Then he connected an external drive to the laptop. Mr. Levandowski then wiped and reformatted the laptop in an attempt to erase forensic fingerprints.

Beyond Mr. Levandowki’s actions, we discovered that other former Waymo employees, now at Otto and Uber, downloaded additional highly confidential information pertaining to our custom-built LiDAR including supplier lists, manufacturing details and statements of work with highly technical information.


AN ACCIDENTALLY CC’D EMAIL LEADS TO A SHOCKING REVELATION
The most insane thing about this story is that Waymo claims it was alerted to Otto and Uber’s alleged treachery by a mistakenly CC’d email. “Waymo was recently – and apparently inadvertently – copied on an email from one of its LiDAR component vendors. The email attached machine drawings of what purports to be an Uber LiDAR circuit board,” the complaint reads. “This circuit board bears a striking resemblance to Waymo’s own highly confidential and proprietary design and reflects Waymo trade secrets.”

The complaint continues, “As this email shows, Otto and Uber are currently building and deploying (or intending to deploy) LiDAR systems (or system components) using Waymo’s trade secret designs. This email also shows that Otto and Uber’s LiDAR systems infringe multiple LiDAR technology patents awarded to Waymo.”

Waymo claims that Levandowski’s alleged actions were part of a “concerted plan to steal Waymo’s trade secrets and intellectual property,” adding that “months before the mass download of files, Mr. Levandowski told colleagues that he had plans to ‘replicate’ Waymo’s technology at a competitor.”


Waymo is asking the court to block Otto and Uber from using its self-driving technology, and for a return of the allegedly stolen materials.

A spokesperson for Uber said in a statement, “We take the allegations made against Otto and Uber employees seriously and we will review this matter carefully.

Meet The Former Google Engineer Who Allegedly Stole Secrets For Uber
https://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2017/02/23/meet-the-former-google-engineer-who-allegedly-stole-secrets-for-uber-anthony-levandowski/#6aedf8725c5e
INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE !
...............SPY vs. SPY.............

Yeah, what was he think, he was going to get away with it? I was wondering how Uber all of a sudden had self-driving cars when they JUST started and Google was working for years to get to that point. This is huge. Travis stole the app idea and now this. He will be forced to step down soon.
They bought a company.
And inherited a liability.
 

Attachments

Ca$h4

Well-Known Member
Bombshell could be an understatement. What was that about self driving cars and an "existential crisis"?

No wonder Travis is in tears over boober-gate and Uber's toxic culture. That may be the least of his worries going forward.
Uber eyes Jetson Family secret flying car patents. Uber press release says Uber to do cutting edge flying car research at Jetson University.

 

Trump Economics

Well-Known Member
Welcome to 30 days, 30 fights -- let's get started, folks:

#deleteuber
#driverq&a
#sexualharassment
#cocaine
#alphabetlawsuit
#tbd

IMG_0047.JPG
Bombshell could be an understatement. What was that about self driving cars and an "existential crisis"?

No wonder Travis is in tears over boober-gate and Uber's toxic culture. That may be the least of his worries going forward.
 

FL_Dex

Well-Known Member
This is huge. They have forensic evidence of Levandowski downloading the material and probably already have all the records from the LIDAR maker showing conclusively that Uber was using the stolen company secrets. The investors are going to be fleeing for the exits to insulate themselves from potential liability.

Dead company walking. There's no coming back from this and it's going to be fun to watch.
 

Dontmakemepullauonyou

Well-Known Member
This is huge. They have forensic evidence of Levandowski downloading the material and probably already have all the records from the LIDAR maker showing conclusively that Uber was using the stolen company secrets. The investors are going to be fleeing for the exits to insulate themselves from potential liability.

Dead company walking. There's no coming back from this and it's going to be fun to watch.
It's uber we are talking about. They'll dump Otto under the bus and claim they had no knowledge. They might pay a fine but Travis isn't going anywhere after this. The guy who downloaded 14,000 files from Google before he quit to go to Otto/uber will probably see some prison time.
 

BurgerTiime

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
This is huge. They have forensic evidence of Levandowski downloading the material and probably already have all the records from the LIDAR maker showing conclusively that Uber was using the stolen company secrets. The investors are going to be fleeing for the exits to insulate themselves from potential liability.

Dead company walking. There's no coming back from this and it's going to be fun to watch.
Agreed. They should get a court order to have Uber immediately have those vehicle testers pulled off the streets too! Uber is just a bunch of techno thugs running a criminal enterprise with VC money.
 
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Michael - Cleveland

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Uber denies Google's claims of stolen self-driving tech
http://www.businessinsider.com/uber-shoots-down-googles-claims-of-stolen-self-driving-tech-2017-2
Feb. 24, 2017, 2:12 PM

Uber has denied allegations in a lawsuit by Waymo that it stole some self-driving technology, calling them "a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor."

Here's the statement an Uber spokesperson sent to Business Insider Friday:

"We are incredibly proud of the progress that our team has made. We have reviewed Waymo's claims and determined them to be a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor and we look forward to vigorously defending against them in court. In the meantime, we will continue our hard work to bring self-driving benefits to the world."

Waymo, the Alphabet company that formed out of Google's self-driving research, filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging that a former Waymo employee, Anthony Levandowski, took information from a company laptop related to the development of a proprietary lidar system. Levandowski was later hired by Uber after Uber bought his self-driving trucking company, Otto. Waymo now says it has evidence Uber is using the stolen lidar plans to develop its own proprietary lidar system.

Uber initially appeared to be blindsided Thursday by the claims when Waymo filed its lawsuit on Thursday, saying only that it would "review the matter carefully." Neither company would discuss whether there had been any behind-the-scenes conversations about the matter in the weeks or months leading up to the lawsuit.

A Waymo spokesperson didn't have a comment beyond the lawsuit it filed Thursday and blog post detailing its allegations against Uber.
 

Lowestformofwit

Well-Known Member
I guess my Swami prediction of 1/2018 bankruptcy is right on target.

P.S. Waymo is a really dumb name.
Yep, 1/18 still looks good, but not for Uber.
BUT, Waymo is not "a really dumb name", it's a new predictive text word, to be used as in:
"Uber has Waymo' lawsuits coming its way."
This SDC IP ripoff has the pungent smell of Travis & his Scour scam all over again.
 

Karl Marx

Well-Known Member
Bombshell could be an understatement. What was that about self driving cars and an "existential crisis"?

No wonder Travis is in tears over boober-gate and Uber's toxic culture. That may be the least of his worries going forward.[/QUOTE

The one goal of this company is clear in all their dealings be it with regulators or competitors, their intentions prefer technology over humanity. With rapid advances in AI, machines teaching machines is a fundamental existential shift in world history. That we have defaulted decision making to people like Travis with the power and authority to dictate transportation policy in many cities around the world is unprecedented.

Uber, DiDi and Google will be monolithic virtual corporations with little or no oversight. Trans-national virtual corporations will pose a fundamental threat to personal freedom of movement. If unchecked these companies will be at the centre of the most important decisions with respect to human movement, data and freedom.

The power that we have vested, to these technology companies, in making unilateral decisions about are physical lives is now an existential threat we can no longer ignore. Neoliberalism combined with technocracy poses a serious threat to personal freedoms and our political commons of democratic decision making.

As any Uber driver can attest, the rapid changes in contractor Uber agreements is always unilateral and never a consultative process. If you wonder at times why you feel so despondent when you tap "I Agree" than you already know what it will be like when you have to obey the robots Travis is building now.

That Travis thought he could cosy up to Trump is a telling move. In the transition to a virtual corporation he will still need humans, at least in the short term. But make no mistake, this man does not like nor does he tolerate criticism in any form.
Bombshell could be an understatement. What was that about self driving cars and an "existential crisis"?

No wonder Travis is in tears over boober-gate and Uber's toxic culture. That may be the least of his worries going forward.
The one goal of this company is clear in all their dealings be it with regulators or competitors, their intentions prefer technology over humanity. With rapid advances in AI, machines teaching machines is a fundamental existential shift in world history. That we have defaulted decision making to people like Travis with the power and authority to dictate transportation policy in many cities around the world is unprecedented.

Uber, DiDi and Google will be monolithic virtual corporations with little or no oversight. Trans-national virtual corporations will pose a fundamental threat to personal freedom of movement. If unchecked these companies will be at the centre of the most important decisions with respect to human movement, data and freedom.

The power that we have vested, to these technology companies, in making unilateral decisions about are physical lives is now an existential threat we can no longer ignore. Neoliberalism combined with technocracy poses a serious threat to personal freedoms and our political commons of democratic decision making.

As any Uber driver can attest, the rapid changes in contractor Uber agreements is always unilateral and never a consultative process. If you wonder at times why you feel so despondent when you tap "I Agree" than you already know what it will be like when you have to obey the robots Travis is building now.

That Travis thought he could cosy up to Trump is a telling move. In the transition to a virtual corporation he will still need humans, at least in the short term. But make no mistake, this man does not like nor does he tolerate criticism in any form.
 

Adieu

Well-Known Member
Let's see accidently CCing Alphabet about uber's design specs/proof that he stole it...

"Accident"

I hope that someone gives the guy who did that a medal...
Plausible deniability

And thats a corp-to-corp leak, either for money, or to retain good business relations with the wronged party

Same as the re-leak via the press curveball


Medal? Lol this is about billions not honorary mentions.

I gots Waymo respect fo Alphabet den Uuuber.
They're both morally somewhere between corps that strip mine third world countries and ....uh, insert something worse but somewhat short of homicidal


Let's see....within-the-law human traffickers?

Worse than strip miners, better than traffickers
 
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Michael - Cleveland

Well-Known Member
Moderator
https://www.wired.com/2017/02/googles-robocar-lawsuit-kill-ubers-future-send-execs-prison/
Google’s Robocar Lawsuit Could Kill Uber’s Future and Send Execs to Prison
WIRED 02.28.17 7:00 AM

UBER WAS HAVING a bad month even before Waymo, Google’s self-driving car outfit, filed a bombshell lawsuit accusing the ridesharing giant of swiping gobs of its autonomous driving tech.

Now, on top of political criticisms of CEO Travis Kalanick and accusations of a sexist corporate culture, the company must worry about a legal dispute that could cost it a truckload of money, kill its self-driving research, and even land more than one executive in prison.

The lawsuit, which Waymo filed Thursday, alleges former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski secretly downloaded 14,000 files proprietary technical files before leaving to found self-driving truck startup Otto. Uber acquired Otto last summer and put Levandowski in charge of its self-driving efforts.

“From what we know in the complaint, this seems to be fairly straightforward,” says Shawn Thompson, a former FBI attorney and federal prosecutor who now advises companies on protecting against insider threats, like employee theft. “From a criminal perspective, I would be surprised if the FBI weren’t looking into this.”

Whether there’s truth to Waymo’s allegations is very much TBD. (An Uber spokesperson calls Waymo’s lawsuit a “baseless attempt to slow down a competitor.”) What is certain is that this will be a fascinating and very public test case for the country’s newly strengthened anti-trade secret theft legal regime—and a potential disaster for Uber.

Big Money
Waymo is bringing this suit under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, a federal law that sailed through Congress last May as the largest expansion of the intellectual property regime in a half-century. (Waymo also accuses Uber of patent infringement and violation of the California Uniform Trade Secret Act.)

Although the law is designed to punish foreign secret stealers, it has three big implications that should worry Uber. First, it allows plaintiffs to ask the court for an immediate, temporary injunction, giving Waymo the power to shut down Uber’s self-driving truck and car experimentsuntil this is sorted. Second, it lets the accuser seek permanent injunctive relief—complicated legalese for forcing Uber to halt any part of autonomous program dealing with the allegedly swiped lidar. Third, the plaintiff can seize the products of its trade secrets, even before the case is decided. In other words, Google could use this legislation to not only temporarily halt Uber’s progress, but take away its toys.

The good news for Uber is that Waymo hasn’t made a move toward those harrowing legal interventions—well, beyond filing its big lawsuit. Waymo has yet to officially apply for that temporary injunction, and it hasn’t attempted to seize Uber’s property, probably because it has to clear a pretty darn high bar to do that.

“It would have to be a situation where someone’s running off to China, beyond the jurisdiction of the court, or someone’s going to destroy something, or they’re going to post the design drawings on the Internet,” says John Marsh, a trade secrets litigator with the law firm Hahn Loeser. “There probably isn’t enough of a factual predicate to justify that extraordinary remedy.” In English: They haven’t shown the proof to warrant the big guns.

But if Waymo’s complaint is to be believed, it does have quite the pile of forensic evidence. (The lawsuit includes details like how many gigs of data Levandowski allegedly downloaded when he plugged an external hard drive into his laptop). So, look to the court. If Waymo wins its civil case, it stands to take a chunk of change off Uber’s hands. The Googlers claim former Otto and current Uber employees netted half a billion dollars from stolen ideas. (Seeing as Uber hasn’t made any money from the self-driving cars it’s still developing, Waymo based that rough figure on how much Uber reportedly paid to acquire the self-driving truck company.)

If Waymo can prove Levandowski’s alleged theft cost it serious money, the law gives the court wide discretion in deciding a final figure. A judge could impose a royalty on Uber’s product, a kind of “Waymo tax” on any future driverless taxi rides you take the in the future. It could also essentially order Uber to divest of Otto and give back its allegedly ill-gotten tech. There are a ton of variables, but the big number could range from a few million to billions of dollars. It all hinges on whether Waymo can prove that Uber acquired Otto solely for its valuable lidar secrets (and that those secrets were stolen).

In sum, a legal loss could devastate Uber’s self-driving car program, and thus the company’s future. Uber’s developing a self-driving car in the hope of cutting out the expensive middlemen, its drivers. But it’s also a defensive move, because if another player—Waymo, Ford, GM, or anyone else in this race—gets there first, they could do the same thing, undercutting Uber’s human-dependent service.

“What would happen if we weren’t a part of that future? If we weren’t part of the autonomy thing? Then the future passes us by basically, in a very expeditious and efficient way,” CEO Travis Kalanick told Business Insider last year. This is an existential crisis.

Big Prison
But the biggest yikes would come from a criminal case. Waymo could refer the case to the FBI, triggering a major federal investigation of trade secret theft and economic espionage. A successful criminal case could mean even more dollars moving from the Uber to Waymo accounts—a large fine, plus restitution. Oh, and maybe prison time for Levandowski: Stealing trade secrets carries up to 10 years. If other former Google employees were involved in the plan, as Waymo alleges in its complaint, they could get dragged into conspiracy charges.

Oh, and if Uber executives knew what Levandowski allegedly had when they acquired Otto—or if they went as far as to direct him to download those files from Waymo—they could end up serving time, too.

“The thing about Uber is, how much did they know?” says Thompson, the former FBI prosecutor.

Fortunately for Uber, it may be in Google’s interest to let its executives continue to roam free. Companies can be loathe to pass evidence on to the FBI because it means they lose control over the proceedings. The government could subpoena anyone who does business with Waymo and poke around their affairs. Not fun.

So far, Silicon Valley has heard just one part of this epic battle. “There’s ten sides to every story, and there’s got to be more here,” says Thompson. So buckle up: The first driving robot wars have arrived.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-google-uber-20170227-story.html
Facing a lawsuit from Google over driverless car technology, Uber may finally have met its match
LA Times [blog] February 27 2017

On the surface, a Google subsidiary’s blistering accusation last week that Uber has stolen its driverless car technology looks like any of the thousands of patent lawsuits piling up in Silicon Valley court dockets.

This one is different, however. And it’s different in ways that could spell bad news for Uber.

[ read more ]
 
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