Technology

Google wins $179m against ex engineer who stole trade secrets

Anthony Levandowski joined Uber after his stint at Google, where he shepherded the company’s own self-driving car programme. File photo.

Anthony Levandowski joined Uber after his stint at Google, where he shepherded the company’s own self-driving car programme. File photo.   | Photo Credit: AP

Google has won $179 million in a case against Anthony Levandowski, former star engineer who is charged with stealing Google’s self-driving car secrets and moving on to join Uber Technologies.

After the judge ordered Levandowski to pay $179 million to Google, the founder of autonomous vehicle startup Otto which Uber acquired later, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, reports TechCrunch.

“Levandowski personally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, stating that the presumptive $179 million debt quite exceeds his assets, which he estimates at somewhere between $50 million and $100 million,” the report said.

The case dates back to 2017 when Uber and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, locked horns with each other over the latter’s accusation on the ride-hailing app of stealing its self-driving technology.

Google’s self-driving car unit Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber in 2017, alleging that the stolen information became the technological basis for Uber’s self-driving cars.

 

According to the lawsuit, Levandowski, who earlier headed its self-driving car 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.

The company also alleged that Levandowski tried to remove traces of those actions by reformatting his laptop.

Levandowski joined Uber after his stint at Google, where he shepherded the company’s own self-driving car programme.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 9:45:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/google-wins-179m-against-ex-engineer-who-stole-trade-secrets/article30988509.ece

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