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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Uber's long-running battle with Google-owned Waymo over rights to autonomous vehicle tech took a new twist this week, as Uber disclosed new obligations in a regulatory filing.

The impact: Uber says it will likely either have to pay Waymo a license fee or make changes to its autonomous driving systems that "could require substantial time and resources to implement, and could limit or delay our production of autonomous vehicle technologies."

Driving the news: The disclosure, first noticed by Reuters, came after an independent software expert finished an examination of Uber's technology. The review was part of Uber's settlement last year with Waymo of a lawsuit over trade secret theft.

  • This further complicates Uber's autonomous driving ambitions, which haven't gone as well as the firm envisioned when it launched the effort a few years ago.

Meanwhile: Former Uber (and Waymo) executive Anthony Levandowski, who was at the center of the lawsuit for allegedly stealing tech from Waymo, was indicted by a federal grand jury in August on charges of theft of trade secrets.

Go deeper: Did Uber steal Google’s intellectual property? (The New Yorker)

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.