The rivalry between Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo and Uber has intensified as Google’s parent sued Uber on grounds of patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation in February. Anthony Levandowski, a former employee of Google, has allegedly stolen 14,000 files worth of trade secrets to create his own self-driving truck company, Otto, acquired by Uber last year. Bloomberg Technology claims that the design and construction of the laser-scanning system to guide the autonomous cars took Waymo about seven years to build, while Uber supposedly accomplished the task in a mere nine months.
According to the suit, Mr. Levandowski allegedly registered the company Otto mid-January of last year and left Alphabet twelve days later, but not before downloading 9.7 gigabytes worth of classified information from Waymo’s design server. The suit further claims that he took the time to meticulously conceal his activities by attaching “an external hard drive to his laptop for eight hours, before erasing the history of his computer,” and never using it again. A few months after Mr. Levandowski left Alphabet and received his last compensation check, Otto was bought for $680 million in stock by Uber.
The article reveals that Anthony Levandowski is not the only former employee accused of stealing confidential data from Waymo’s self-driving car project, which has led to approximately $500 million for Otto employees. Waymo explains that Uber unfairly used this stolen information as a shortcut to create a strikingly similar laser sensor system to their own. When confronted with this complaint, Uber spokeswoman Chelsea Kohler claimed, “We take the allegations made against Otto and Uber employees seriously and we will review this matter carefully.” Despite this statement, Mr. Levandowski has been unavailable to comment.
Danielle is a finance and ITM major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.
Posted by Courtney McCardle.
Johnny Depp, a very famous and popular actor filed a lawsuit in the beginning of 2017, as he believed the issue is costing one of his homes. He filed a lawsuit against his own business managers for more than $25 million in a jury- seeking suit. Depp is alleging fraud in breach of contract and professional negligence. The complaint also alleged that the management firm was attempting to foreclose on Depp’s primary home through a loan that was claimed to be from the management company. “In essence, TMG treated Mr. Depp’s income as their own, available to either TMG or third parties to draw upon as desired.”
Depp’s first step was to ask for a restraining order to stop the process of foreclosing the home. When the attorney for TMG was notified of this issue, he sent out a statement saying “For 30 years, Joel and Rob Mandel, and their company The Management Group, have been trusted business managers to some of the most successful individuals and companies in the entertainment business. For 17 of those years, they did everything possible to protect Depp from his irresponsible and profligate spending.” He also said Depp faced financial ruin in December 2012 with a $5 million bank loan. The Mandels loaned him the $5 million and Depp promised to repay by January 2014. By October 2016, Depp allegedly owed $4.2 million and as a result, the Mandels non-judicial foreclosing on some of Depp’s properties.
This lawsuit is an attempt to ruin the foreclosure by changing the actions of his managers. He ended up keeping all of his real estate holdings and was forced to pay back the loan to the Mandels.
Courtney is a business major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.