Anthony Levandowski gets 18 months in prison for stealing Google self-driving car files

Anthony Levandowski gets 18 months in prison for stealing Google self-driving car files

Former Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski leaves the federal court after his arraignment hearing in
Former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski leaves the federal court after his arraignment hearing in San Jose, California, U.S. August 27, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

OAKLAND, California: A US judge on Tuesday (Aug 4) sentenced former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski to 18 months in prison for stealing a trade secret from Google related to self-driving cars months before becoming the head of Uber Technologies Inc's rival unit.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said Levandowski, who was convicted on Tuesday following a March plea deal agreement, said Levandowski could enter custody once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

Alsup said a sentence short of imprisonment would have given "a green light to every future brilliant engineer to steal trade secrets," comparing what Levandowski took to a "competitor's game plan."

Levandowski's conviction is one of the highest-profile for Silicon Valley intellectual property theft.

Levandowski agreed to a plea deal two weeks after filing for bankruptcy. He owes US$179 million to Alphabet's Google to settle a dispute arising from his actions before leaving the company in January 2016.

Source: Reuters

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