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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

Waymo v. Uber – Addressing the Stakes of Driverless Car Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property

Posted on: February 12th, 2018

By: Courtney K. Mazzio

The litigation surrounded a man named Anthony Levandowski, a former Waymo employee who took thousands of documents with him when he left Waymo in 2015 to pursue his own company. Uber purchased Levandowski’s company, giving Levandowski the lead role in its efforts to get their self-driving vehicle technology off the ground. At issue in the lawsuit between Uber and Waymo was the lidar laser sensor, which Levandowski had helped develop while at Waymo. In short, this technology measures distance to a target, and so, is used in the control and navigation of self-driving cars. As you might imagine, this technology in the infancy of the driverless car development was a highly coveted piece of intellectual property.

Settlement talks were initially in the billions, but the final figure was 245 million, or 0.34 percent of Uber’s current company valuation. The agreement also includes a provision to insure Waymo’s confidential information is not incorporated into Uber technology.

This settlement not only protects Uber’s driverless car momentum in their race to be the first taxi service to successfully utilize the technology at a relatively cheap price, but also maintains Waymo’s position at the forefront of the self-driving technology. To insure this position enjoys longevity, employees of Waymo can expect they will likely be tightening its control and security over confidential information and property developed within its walls.

If you have any questions or would like some more information, please contact Courtney Mazzio at [email protected].

Giants Get Roughed Up By DOL

Posted on: September 11th, 2014

179059278By: Martin B. Heller

As we previously have reported, Major League Baseball is facing substantial potential liability in an alleged conditional class claim brought by minor league baseball players against their respective major league teams for failing to pay minimum wage and overtime.

Last month, the San Francisco Giants were hit with some wage and hour liability separate and apart from the on-going potential class claim.  The Giants paid almost $550,000.00 to 74 employees that allegedly did not receive both overtime and minimum wage payments.  The Department of Labor’s release indicates that the payments covered both major and minor league employees, including clubhouse managers, clubhouse assistants and video production employees.  The DOL found that some employees were misclassified as exempt, and others were paid a flat rate for working 5.5 hours per day, however, they supposedly were working between 12 and 15 hours per day.

 This significant penalty is an ominous sign for the pending lawsuit, as it signals a likely finding that time spent at the ballpark is time spent working under the FLSA.  It also is a great reminder that, although day rate methods of payment can be beneficial for employers, there is no substitute for accurate and complete time records, and without them, an employer may open themselves up to substantial liability through employee allegations of additional hours worked.