Mayhall Fondren Blaize

Theft of trade secrets is a common issue in business litigation

Intellectual property disputes are a regular aspect of business litigation cases in the Louisiana state and federal courts. These kinds of cases can be complex and of great importance to the litigants. Business litigation attorneys are adept at guiding their clients through such litigation by using their broad experience to extract the best outcome for the client.

An example of intellectual property litigation between two massive companies has been occurring for the past year between Waymo, a self-driving car subdivision of Google's parent company Alphabet, and Uber, the ride-hailing international giant. Waymo sued Uber alleging that Uber wrongfully acquired its self-driving technology by purchasing a company called Otto. The case recently went to trial in another state. 

Waymo alleged that Otto wrongfully possessed gigabytes of information owned by Waymo and Google regarding their self-driving technology. Waymo alleged that Otto's founder, Anthony Levandowski, stole the information while working in the driverless car division of Google as a managing engineer. The jury trial between Waymo and Uber had just completed one week of fiery testimony when the two sides announced a settlement.

Uber has agreed to settle by paying $245 million of Uber's equity over to Waymo. Uber's new CEO, who succeeded controversial founder, Travis Kalanick, struck an apologetic tone after the settlement was announced. It appears that Uber feared a runaway verdict against it after only one week of testimony. The new Uber CEO blamed Kalanick for Uber's "mistakes of the past" and asserted that Uber would develop its driverless technology on its own efforts.

He referred to Waymo as a partner, also admitting that the purchase and handling of Otto could have been done better. In earlier depositions, Levandowski pleaded the Fifth Amendment, which had the appearance of tending to confirm Waymo's assertions of stolen technology. Various kinds of intellectual property cases, both small and large, comprise a significant part of the business litigation cases in the federal and state courts in Louisiana.

Source: buzzfeed.com, "Waymo Settles Trade Secrets Lawsuit With Uber And Everyone Is Friends Again", Ryan Mac, Feb. 8, 2018

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information