back to article Let's go live to the Uber-Waymo legal war – and see what's happening

It promised to be an eye-opening battle royale between tech giants. So let's check in with Uber and Waymo, the ride-hailing app maker and the Google self-driving car spinoff, which are duking it out in court. When autonomous vehicle upstart Waymo sued Uber for patent infringement in February, at first it seemed like a classic …

  1. FozzyBear

    Allegation of not just patent infringement but corporate espionage. Awesome. Beats the usual patent troll court cases you read about. I may just follow this one , should be entertaining

  2. The Nazz

    That's the biggest "What if" i've ever seen.

    Judge Alsup : "What if it turns out that Uber is totally innocent?," he asked, and the company simply paid for a gifted engineer with no idea he was downloading documents?

    I understand salaries in the tech field are rather high, but paying $250million, even for a gifted engineer, is rather exhorbitant.

    Of course it's not his final Judgment just a little musing.

    The evidence (from the article) against Uber/Waymo appears compelling. Why on earth do court cases take so long? Yes, yes, i know, billable hours. Rounded up from units of 10 secs each.

    If i were the Judge the case would be over before lunch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's the biggest "What if" i've ever seen.

      "What if it turns out that Uber is totally innocent?"

      Uber can never be totally innocent, their founding concept of being a lift sharing service is a lie, and every aspect of their operation is corrupt*.

      *Allegedly, as Ian Hislop would say.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge

    $250 million

    Not bad for a recruitment bonus I guess.

    When I first started working 35 years ago, I got a free biro *.

    * But I couldn't take it home.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: $250 million

      When I first started working 35 years ago, I got a free biro

      I've replaced the case five times and the ball/inktube eight times, but it's still serving me well.

      1. Winkypop Silver badge

        Re: $250 million

        I probably just chewed the end off, a bad habit of the times.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $250 million

      I remember being enticed into Symbian with the promise of stock options worth a small fortune after the IPO.

      Wish I'd got a biro :(

    3. Adam 1

      Re: $250 million

      Free biro? Luxury! All my work biros seem to get downloaded from my desk by person's anonymous and unauthorised. Those and bloody HDMI cables from the projector. There's got to be a black market for biros and projector cables.

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So how many staff were at this "Otto" company?

    $680m pays for a small army of nerds.

    Of was it just him?

    And a note that $250m was a stock option, not a recruitment bonus, no doubt well below what Uber reckons their stock is worth.

    But since Uber is not yet publicly quoted and has multiple issues that $250m of stock might not be nearly quite as valuable as the powdered Unicorn horn Uber think they are.

    My first signing bonus was a bottle of champagne. I never opened it as I didn't think a new job was that worthy. I'm still waiting for that occasion.

  5. lglethal Silver badge

    If lawyers and spoilt children werent involved...

    If adults were involved in this discussion and not lawyers and spoilt children, the whole situation should have gone something like this:

    Über hired a guy they thought was good. It turns out he stole all the good work from his previous Company (I'm giving Über the benefit of the doubt here that they didnt collude in the theft, adults give people the benefit of the doubt, up to a point). When his theft was proven to them, they fired his ass, and handed him over to the Police for theft. Then Über started talks with Waymo about creating a licencing agreement so that they could continue to use the Technology. Perhaps some sort of data sharing arrangement, so they could both benefit from the work they had done on the Technology. And in this way, the Technology improved, company ethics were maintained, both firms continued along their development, money was saved on not having to pay lawyers and court costs, and a thief ended up in jail.

    But no, Über doesnt work that way (corporate ethics? They've heard of them - something to do with hiring foreigners, right?), and so we end up in court, with huge costs, both sides looking bad, and the Technology being stalled. Hooray for modern America, right?

    1. MondoMan

      Re: stalling the technology

      Waymo is still developing its technology -- their cars are frequently visible driving in the Mountain View area, at least.

      All the excitement up in SF may help explain the high housing prices there -- police "encountering" stabbings on the street and so forth. Who wouldn't want to live there and have a front row view?

  6. Roj Blake

    Uber are Disruptors

    And by disruptors, I mean arseholes.

    1. MondoMan

      Re: Uber are Disruptors

      I thought only Klingons used disruptors.

  7. Tom Paine

    When you see what it takes to get rich...

    ...being not-rich looks a lot less unappealing. How'd these creeps sleep at night? (No-one's covered themselves in glory in this, except maybe the judge who sounds like a straight bat.)

    1. Roj Blake

      Re: When you see what it takes to get rich...

      How do they sleep at night? Between a pair of leggy blondes and with a large bowl of cocaine on the bedside table I'd imagine.

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