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Judge Grants Waymo’s Request to Postpone Trade Secret Trial Against Uber
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Uber self-driving car

Summary: The trade secret lawsuit between Waymo and Uber has been postponed. 

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project, was granted a request to postpone its trial against Uber over alleged trade secret theft. 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.

  
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The trial was originally scheduled to begin on December 4, but Waymo filed a last-minute motion to postpone on Monday. 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.

“Given Uber’s consistent failures to meet its discovery obligations in this case, and apparent misrepresentations to this court, Waymo has no choice but to seek a continuance of the trial date to enable Waymo to take additional discovery on this new information that is indisputably relevant to Waymo’s trade secret misappropriation claims,” Waymo said in a court filing.

The evidence at the heart of the postponement was a letter from a former Uber security analyst’s attorney to an Uber lawyer. The letter reportedly had several bombshell revelations, including methods that Uber instructed employees to evade investigations.

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Waymo said that it had learned about the letter last week from the Department of Justice, according to MSNBC. The former analyst spoke with authorities and said that Uber instructed people to use disappearing chat apps such as Wickr to prevent an electronic trail and that employees were trained to prevent Uber’s schemes from being made public.

According to Bloomberg, Uber has already tested U.S. District Judge William Alsup’s patience. Even before Monday’s filing, the judge was considering whether or not to inform jurors that Uber had destroyed evidence in anticipation of the Waymo trade secrets lawsuit.



Waymo sued Uber, saying that they stole trade secrets about self-driving car technology. The trial has already been postponed once, and jury selection was supposed to begin on Wednesday.

Uber has denied the allegations of theft.

“Uber has been waiting for its day in court for quite some time now,” Uber said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We’re keen to have a jury finally hear this case on its merits.”

Waymo filed its lawsuit against Uber in February. 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.

This lawsuit is not the only controversy the multi-billion dollar ride-share company has encountered since its inception. Recently, it was sued for a 2016 data breach that affected 57 million people; and it has also been accused of allowing sexual assaults from drivers, misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors, and numerous other charges.

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