Judge Grants Waymo's Request To Postpone Trade Secret Trial Against Uber

Uber нанимал бывших агентов ЦРУ для слежки за конкурентами

The trial between Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving auto subsidiary, and Uber over the rideshare company's alleged theft of intellectual property took a turn toward ludicrous during a hearing in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Waymo has estimated damages in the case at about $1.9 billion and wants to curtail Uber's self-driving auto program, which Waymo says uses its technology. Waymo said that Uber intentionally hid key evidence in the case, and it needed more time to prepare for trial now that the evidence has come to light.

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Richard Jacobs, who worked for a now-disbanded corporate surveillance team at Uber, told the judge that stealing trade secrets was part of his former colleagues' mission, along with monitoring information on metrics and incentives for drivers who operate on competitor platforms overseas.

Jacobs was part of the "Strategic Services Group" at Uber, although Bloomberg says the team has now been renamed.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup moved at a hearing Tuesday to immediately take witness testimony over what he described as potentially criminal conduct involving a hidden system of messaging at Uber. The company claimed that Anthony Levandowski, a former Waymo executive, had illegally downloaded 14,000 confidential files before his departure; and he had used that information to start a rival company called Otto, which was later acquired by Uber.

Waymo has accused Uber of concealing Jacobs' letter to an Uber in-house lawyer, saying the note contained important facts about the case, according to a court filing on Monday.

Waymo filed suit in February alleging that the ride-hailing company stole crucial self-driving trade secrets.

Jacobs said he learned of this activity through discussions at Uber with his manager and other colleagues.

The trial was set to begin next Tuesday in San Francisco.

Alsup said it would be a "huge injustice" to force Waymo to go to trial given the new evidence that surfaced in the case, according Reuters.

Uber has denied the allegations of theft. Anthony Levandowski, an engineer who left Waymo to spearhead Uber's self-driving auto unit, allegedly stole thousands of confidential documents on his way out the door, but Uber has maintained that those documents never reached its corporate servers.



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