Uber-Waymo Trial Delayed Again After Shocking New Allegations

Javier Howell
November 29, 2017

He said he was part of the ride-sharing firm's corporate surveillance team, which has now been disbanded. In light of the new evidence and allegations that Uber lawyers had been withholding Jacobs's letter, the judge indefinitely delayed the trial, which was set to begin on December 4.

The company also relied on a surreptitious computer system to eliminate all digital trails, and dispatched its security team to train self-driving auto engineers in Pittsburgh how to hide their electronic tracks, Jacobs testified.

In a dramatic courtroom showdown on Tuesday in the bitter trade-secret dispute between Waymo and Uber, a visibly angry US federal judge accused Uber's lawyers of withholding evidence.

According to Bloomberg, Uber has already tested U.S. District Judge William Alsup's patience.

Waymo, the self-driving auto company spun out of Google's moonshot unit, has accused Uber of recruiting its former employees and stealing its trade secrets in order to advance its development of autonomous vehicles. In October, he chided Uber layers for disclosing thousands of emails to Waymo just before the trial had been set to begin.

An Uber representative on Tuesday referred to an earlier company statement, which said Uber "has been waiting for its day in court for quite some time now" and was keen to have a jury hear the merits of the case.

Former Uber employee and whistleblower Richard Jacobs testified today that Uber's marketplace analytics team was tasked with unearthing information about competitors, including trade secrets and code, according to Gizmodo.

Waymo said that it had learned about the letter last week from the Department of Justice, according to MSNBC. Waymo is now asking for further information from Uber and an investigation into the contents of Jacobs's letter, Gizmodo reports.

"The only possible conclusion is that Uber intentionally withheld the Jacobs Letter and related materials to prevent Waymo from discovering material evidence in this case", Waymo's attorneys wrote in a filing. Legal trainings within the company also allegedly served to help employees evade investigators.

"There is a 50-50 chance that this is going to turn out very bad for Uber", Alsup said.

Uber denied using any of Waymo's trade secrets. A new start date hasn't been set. Levendowski left his role at Waymo in January 2016 to found another self-driving vehicle company called Otto, which was acquired by Uber in August 2016.

Other reports by Insurance News

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