Uber Jury Never Got to See Waymo's ‘Crown Jewels’

Uber Pays Waymo $245 Million to Settle Lawsuit

Waymo’s “crown jewels” are in a pair of earrings.

That’s the message Uber Technologies Inc. wanted to convey to jurors Friday before its high-stakes trade-secrets fight with the Alphabet Inc. unit over driverless technology suddenly settled after four days of a three-week trial.

The ride-hailing company wanted to show that Waymo couldn’t have been too concerned about protecting its secrets back when an employee gift was a pair of earrings fashioned from printed circuit boards in an early version of Google’s autonomous-vehicle technology.

Waymo fought to keep the earrings out of the trial. A lawyer for Uber had argued Thursday to U.S. District Judge William Alsup that a Waymo engineer could identify on the earrings at least one of the eight trade secrets that Waymo alleged were "the crown jewels" stolen by Uber.

"Well, sounds like it’s a jewel," Alsup said.

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