July 23, 2017

Waymo struggles to prove Uber knew about stolen files



UBER Logo on black background
Image Courtesy of UBER

FILE- In this Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, Anthony Levandowski, former head of Uber’s self-driving program, speaks about their autonomous car in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) SAN FRANCISCO — In a fiery courtroom battle with major implications for the self-driving car industry, Waymo on Wednesday used records of secret negotiations and a stock option grant in an attempt to show one thing — that Uber knew of and supported an employee stealing Waymo’s trade secrets.

Waymo’s task on Wednesday was to convince a federal judge in San Francisco to grant an order that would bar Uber from using the information Waymo claims was stolen from its confidential files. The hearing is arguably the most important battle to date in Waymo’s trade secrets lawsuit against Uber, because a win for Waymo could derail the self-driving car program on which Uber is staking its future.

Waymo claims its former engineer, Anthony Levandowski, stole 14,000 confidential Waymo documents before leaving to start his own self-driving vehicle startup — Otto. They claim Uber later acquired the startup in order to get at the stolen Waymo trade secrets. On Wednesday, Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven displayed emails that reference negotiations between Levandowski and Uber while […]

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