The former lead of Uber's self-driving technology unit and the man at the center of the lawsuit between Uber and Google from a couple of years ago, Anthony Levandowski, has filed for bankruptcy protection.
"While Uber and Levandowski are parties to an indemnification agreement, whether Uber is ultimately responsible for such indemnification is subject to a dispute between the company and Levandowski", Uber said. But a San Francisco County court on Wednesday confirmed the arbitration panel's decision and award. Interestingly, Levandowski has filed for bankruptcy.
Anthony Levandowski was the central figure of one of Silicon Valley's most-watched courtroom battles, when Google's self-driving auto company Waymo sued Uber for $2 billion, accusing it of using trade secrets stolen by Levandowski. These included, per Reuters, luring former Google employees from his former unit over to his own company, which was acquired by Uber in 2016 for a reported $680 million (£521 million). The Department of Justice also indicted Levandowski on charges of stealing the files in August 2019.
According to the lawsuit, Levandowski, who earlier headed its self-driving vehicle project, downloaded around 14,000 files from his company-issued computer containing trade secrets related to Waymo's LIDAR technology, circuit board designs, and testing documentation.
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Levandowski on Wednesday lost his bid to throw out the arbitration award based on Google's claims that the engineer violated an agreement to not poach employees. Levandowski's attorney Neel Chatterjee did not respond to a request for comment. According to Ron's LinkedIn, he now heads Uber Freight, and Reuters reported that Waymo confirmed to the outlet that it was paid the $9.7 million (£7.4 million) settlement by Uber.
Uber spokesman Matt Kallman declined to comment.The civil case is Google v. Levandowski, CPF-20-516982, Calkifornia Superior Court (San Francisco).
Waymo said it would 'continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our confidential information is protected'.