Waymo Trade Secret Trial Delayed After Uber Accused of Sneakily Withholding Evidence

Waymo Trade Secret Trial Delayed After Uber Accused of Sneakily Withholding Evidence

Waymo Trade Secret Trial Delayed After Uber Accused of Sneakily Withholding Evidence

The letter bolsters Waymo's claims that Uber stole its trade secrets pertaining to autonomous driving technology.

Jacobs' allegations of a trade-secret stealing unit appear to have been sent in a letter from his attorney to Uber - a letter that Uber should have provided the court and Waymo as part of discovery but failed to do so - a situation that could also implicate Uber's attorneys.

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.

Waymo said that it had learned about the letter last week from the Department of Justice, according to MSNBC.

US District Judge William Alsup slammed Uber for failing to disclose the evidence, the Wall Street Journal reports - a 37-page letter from a former Uber employee detailing efforts Uber allegedly took to steal information from competitors and cover up its tracks. According to Law360, a California judge ruled in Waymo's favor on Tuesday after Waymo accused Uber of hiding evidence that was discovered by federal prosecutors.

The Marketplace Analytics team was instructed to use encrypted, ephemeral communication on devices that couldn't be attributed to the company, Jacobs said, in order to "make sure we didn't create a paper trail that would come back to haunt the company in any potential criminal or civil litigation".

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The hearing on Tuesday centered on a letter from a lawyer for former Uber security analyst Richard Jacobs that Uber did not show Waymo as both sides prepared their cases. Jacobs said he received instructions on secure communication from Craig Clark, who was recently dismissed from Uber for his role in covering up a data breach. He also added that, "I can no longer trust the words of the lawyers for Uber in this case".

The hearing on Tuesday gave Alsup reason to doubt Uber's testimony.

Waymo filed its lawsuit against Uber in February.

"There was legal training around the use of attorney-client privilege markings on written materials and the implementation of encrypted and ephemeral communications meant to destroy communications that might be considered sensitive", Jacobs said. "And there is a 50-50 chance that this will turn out to be a dry hole". 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. Uber paid $680 million previous year for a self-driving vehicle startup founded by Levandowski after he left Waymo in January 2016. "(Uber law firm) Morrison & Foerster and rest of the Uber lawyers withheld evidence, (despite) a direct order to produce stuff like that".

Uber identified employees at rival companies it believed it could flip in pursuit of competitors' secrets.

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