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Anthony Levandowski, Engineer at Center of Uber v. Waymo, Sentenced to 18 Months for Trade Theft

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Anthony Levandowski, the former Google autonomous vehicle engineer whose switch to Uber was the subject of massive lawsuit, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for trade theft.

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Levandowski co-founded Google’s autonomous vehicle unit, now known as Waymo, in 2009 and worked there until 2016. That year, he quit and founded his own company, Otto, which itself was promptly acquired by Uber. It later turned out that before leaving Google, Levandowski downloaded gigabytes of proprietary data. Waymo sued Uber for trade theft and patent infringement, claiming Uber’s LiDAR tech relied on elements designed by Waymo. That set off a complicated series of legal battles which ended in a settlement in February 2018.

There were no clear victors. Google’s parent company Alphabet walked away with $245 million in Uber equity, a relative pittance, and dropped all remaining trade theft claims. Uber and Levandowski maintained the whole time that Waymo trade secrets were never uploaded to Uber servers or used in development. Uber’s self-driving cars are still in development, although its effort is reportedly lagging behind Waymo and competitor Lyft.

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Levandowski’s troubles, however, did not end there. In August 2019, the Department of Justice charged him on 33 counts of theft of trade secrets and attempted theft of trade secrets for absconding from Google with 14,000 files. Those charges carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to $8.25 million in fines, plus restitution. Levandowski took a plea deal in March 2020 that saw all but one of the charges dropped, as well as agreed to fork over $750,000 in restitution to Waymo. But the same month, Levandowski declared bankruptcy after courts upheld an arbitration ruling that he owed Google an additional $179 million for breach of contract, including by poaching Google engineers.

Per Reuters, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said during sentencing on Tuesday that not sending Levandowski to prison would give a “green light to every future brilliant engineer to steal trade secrets.” The 18-month sentence is, however, less than the 27 months sought by prosecutors, and Levandowski won’t be required to enter custody until after the novel coronavirus pandemic subsides. (According to Reuters, Levandowski’s attorneys argued a history of pneumonia meant he would be particularly vulnerable to the virus, which is spreading like wildfire in the nation’s prisons.) The pandemic isn’t likely to end anytime soon, meaning that sentence could be delayed for some time.

According to TechCrunch, Levandowski filed a separate lawsuit in July claiming that the undisclosed terms of the Waymo-Uber settlement included permanent blacklisting from working with Uber, as well as that Uber “coerced” him into selling his stake of Otto at a “significant discount.”

Levandowski is asking for “at least $4.128 billion” in payouts from Uber Freight, Uber’s business unit created out of Otto, which is roughly equivalent to the valuation of the entire unit, TechCrunch reported. He’s also asking Uber to pay the $179 million he owes Google. The lawsuit against Uber also claims the company illicitly acquired Waymo software from “a different former Google employee,” supposedly freeing him from some of the terms of the lawsuit.

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“The last three and a half years have forced me to come to terms with what I did,” Levandowski told the Verge in a statement. “I want to take this time to apologize to my colleagues at Google for betraying their trust, and to my entire family for the price they have paid and will continue to pay for my actions.”

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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