We Know Uber Stole Google Waymo...but that's Cool

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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I am not sure what to think about this. Earlier this year, Google/Alphabet/Waymo sued Uber for ripping off patented and trade secret tech regarding self driving car research back in early 2016.


According to the suit, Levandowski, who runs Uber’s automated vehicle research team, downloaded data while still working for Google related to the company’s laser LiDAR technology, a high-definition sensor that gives self-driving vehicles 360-degree vision. The company learned of this after a supplier to Waymo sent it images of a LiDAR circuit board, presumably from Uber, that resembled its own.



Six weeks before his resignation, Waymo claims that 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," the company said in a blog post that summarizes actions detailed in the lawsuit and which doesn't personally name Levandowski as a defendant.





Now Uber did not "directly" steal anything, as this Levandowski guy actually left Waymo, and went to Otto (a self driving truck company), but later on Uber hired Levandowski away from Otto. Got it? The rub here is that it is being accused that Uber did in fact hire Levandowski in part because they knew (or should have known) that he had these 14,000 Waymo tech files.


"The bottom line is the evidence indicates that Uber hired Levandowski even though it knew or should have known that he possessed over 14,000 confidential Waymo files likely containing Waymo’s intellectual property," Alsup wrote.


But in the end, Levandowski has to return the files....whatever the hell that means in a digital world, and can no longer work on the Lidar portion of Uber's self-driving car program even though some of the tech could be directly traced to Waymo's parts. Color me confused.


However, the judge said few of Waymo's alleged trade secrets have been traced to Uber's self-driving car technology, and that Waymo's patent claims against Uber have proved "meritless."
 
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NeoNemesis

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Uber strikes me as one of the seediest companies to crawl out of Silicon Valley in a long time...

I mean, they come into the taxi scene with a business model that's actually illegal (I actually support this because the taxi industry sucks).

Since then it's just been story after story of them screwing over (unethically if not illegally in all cases)

- Drivers (contractors)
- Employees
- Competitors

Now they've gone ahead and added former employers of current employees to the list.

How the hell are they still operating?
 

kju1

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Mar 27, 2002
Messages
3,384
Uber strikes me as one of the seediest companies to crawl out of Silicon Valley in a long time...

I mean, they come into the taxi scene with a business model that's actually illegal (I actually support this because the taxi industry sucks).

Since then it's just been story after story of them screwing over (unethically if not illegally in all cases)

- Drivers (contractors)
- Employees
- Competitors

Now they've gone ahead and added former employers of current employees to the list.

How the hell are they still operating?

Crime pays?
 

Methos

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
324
Uber strikes me as one of the seediest companies to crawl out of Silicon Valley in a long time...

I mean, they come into the taxi scene with a business model that's actually illegal (I actually support this because the taxi industry sucks).

Since then it's just been story after story of them screwing over (unethically if not illegally in all cases)

- Drivers (contractors)
- Employees
- Competitors

Now they've gone ahead and added former employers of current employees to the list.

How the hell are they still operating?

I completely agree. It's as though Uber is run by the 80's Business Guy from futurama. The guy with Boneitis.
 

egads

n00b
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Jul 1, 2013
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Well....apparently....

Uber's revenue last year was $6.5 billion. That's putting them in Pablo Escobar territory.

Yeah, but they have $2.8 billion in net losses in 2016. I wouldn't say that pays. It's amazing how so many of these silicon valley companies can create a business model off of losing money.
 

NickJames

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Yeah, but they have $2.8 billion in net losses in 2016. I wouldn't say that pays. It's amazing how so many of these silicon valley companies can create a business model off of losing money.

Because investors hope that the cash flow leads to profits eventually. A lot of startups take net losses for years before they see profit because the excess cash is pumped back into the business. Even Amazon didn't see positive until 2016.
 

oROEchimaru

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meanwhile invent something > china can sell it on amazon with no problems. go look at "fidget cubes" ... the kickstarter isnt even out yet and there are 1000 of them for sale that are "legit" "3rd year models" from amazon. our patent system is a mess and amazon selling knockoffs is not only a mess but a liability... wont be long until we have lead poisoning from cheap knockoffs... we already have house fires from shoddy fake cables.
 

Methos

Limp Gawd
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Messages
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meanwhile invent something > china can sell it on amazon with no problems. go look at "fidget cubes" ... the kickstarter isnt even out yet and there are 1000 of them for sale that are "legit" "3rd year models" from amazon. our patent system is a mess and amazon selling knockoffs is not only a mess but a liability... wont be long until we have lead poisoning from cheap knockoffs... we already have house fires from shoddy fake cables.

I totally agree. Amazon itself I'm ok with, but the Amazon Marketplace is a total shithole.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Yeah, but they have $2.8 billion in net losses in 2016. I wouldn't say that pays. It's amazing how so many of these silicon valley companies can create a business model off of losing money.

How the hell can they LOSE $2.8 billion?? They made an app that connects people without cars to people WITH cars. What are they spending their revenue on?
 

SighTurtle

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How the hell can they LOSE $2.8 billion?? They made an app that connects people without cars to people WITH cars. What are they spending their revenue on?

They are subsiding the rides. Their goal was going to rush for self driving tech, using their existing app and consumer base to gather data and for easier transition. I'm assuming this is why they stole from Google.
 

Grahamkracka

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I work in the Aerospace/Defense industry. If I downloaded my company's trade secrets before quitting (or getting fired) and then proceeded to give them to a new employer...I'd be in fucking prison and my new company would have some serious corporate espionage charges of their own to contend with. How is this any different?
 

kac77

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I work in the Aerospace/Defense industry. If I downloaded my company's trade secrets before quitting (or getting fired) and then proceeded to give them to a new employer...I'd be in fucking prison and my new company would have some serious corporate espionage charges of their own to contend with. How is this any different?

No difference except the money involved. When there's tons of money involved weird things start to happen. Like the judge saying that trade secret's can be traced to Uber's self-driving technology. Google started the self driving car thing in 2009. Uber wasn't founded until 2009 and they certainly didn't have two pennies to rub together in 2009 in order to fund the losses a self-driving car program generates. So how is that possible? It's not. Welcome to Capitalism.
 

Grahamkracka

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No difference except the money involved. When there's tons of money involved weird things start to happen. Like the judge saying that trade secret's can be traced to Uber's self-driving technology. Google started the self driving car thing in 2009. Uber wasn't founded until 2009 and they certainly didn't have two pennies to rub together in 2009 in order to fund the losses a self-driving car program generates. So how is that possible? It's not. Welcome to Capitalism.
I guess I should note I work for one of the largest defense companies in the United States and is worth roughly the same as what Uber SAYS they are...and brings in 5x more money than they do. I still don't see how it's any different other than they are a darling of Silicon Valley while my company simply works for "the man".
 
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