July 25, 2017

The judge in the Alphabet/Uber lawsuit rejects a Fifth Amendment claim to keep key details private

UBER Logo on black background
Image Courtesy of UBER

Anthony Levandowski, Otto co-founder and VP of engineering at Uber, speaks at the launch of the pilot model of the Uber self-driving car at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center on Sept. 13, 2016, in Pittsburgh, Pa. The presiding judge in Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber for allegedly stealing autonomous-car trade secrets has said that Uber must disclose certain basic details of a due diligence report conducted as part of Uber’s August 2016 acquisition of self-driving tech startup Otto.

The report could play an important role in Alphabet’s allegations that the ride-hail company is using Alphabet’s proprietary self-driving technology.

The Google parent company claims that Uber’s self-driving head, Anthony Levandowski, stole 14,000 files from Alphabet that included designs for its lidar — Light Detection and Ranging — technology. Lidar is key to most self-driving systems.

Uber counters that its technology is unique and distinct from that used in Alphabet’s self-driving efforts, which exist under the umbrella of Alphabet subsidiary, Waymo.

A due diligence report is conducted by a third party as part of an acquisition. It looks at finances, legal issues and other details of a company that is being acquired.

Alphabet has claimed that the due diligence report will prove that Levandowski — who worked […]

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