Tuesday, 19 November, 2019

Waymo's Lawsuit Against Uber Going to Federal Prosecutors

It's all about the lidar It's all about the lidar
Clarence Schmidt | 13 May, 2017, 11:11

Waymo said it never consented to arbitrate the dispute with Uber and contended it couldn't be coerced into an informal resolution process just because the trade secrets it's fighting to protect happen to have come from former Waymo employees. Instead, the case will go to a public trial with evidence being presented in the open for the most part.

"This was a desperate bid by Uber to avoid the court's jurisdiction", the company said in a statement.

Alsup also ordered the civil trial to proceed and granted Waymo's request for a partial injunction - filed under seal - which could prevent Uber from deploying the technology. Waymo claims Anthony Levandowski downloaded 14,000 files regarding lidar tech from Google before leaving to create his own startup, Otto, that was soon acquired by Uber.

Grab the popcorn and set your phone to vibrate: the messy lawsuit between Waymo (aka Google's self-driving auto project) and Uber (aka the ride-sharing company that needs another bad headline like Mark Zuckerberg needs another million dollars) is going to play out in public.

The judge's order comes two weeks after Levandowski stepped down from his post overseeing self-driving vehicle technology to a lesser role on the team, saying he and Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick decided he shouldn't be involved with the laser technology at issue in the lawsuit. Uber purchased Otto in August in a deal reportedly worth $680 million.

In Waymo's telling, this was a grand conspiracy by Uber to steal trade secrets by hiring away a key engineer. He invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

Its decision to assert a separate case against Uber in federal court "was not only reasonable but also the only course available, since Waymo had no arbitration agreement" with Uber, said Alsup, who elsewhere in the opinion said Waymo had "dutifully" gone to arbitration against Levandowski. "You don't have any smoking gun", he said.

Middlesbrough captain Ben Gibson: We deserve to go down. Everyone's responsible
The Baggies are aiming to deny Chelsea the victory which would see Antonio Conte's side win the Premier League on Friday. The Blues endured a nightmare start to their championship defence last term, losing nine of their first 16 games.

The details of the preliminary injunction are sealed, so it is unclear to what extent Uber will be affected by the order. "They maybe even hear about the Fifth Amendment", Alsup warned Uber in a hearing in San Francisco on May 3.

"The potential for an actual criminal proceeding makes it that much more hard to control, or affect the ultimate outcome of the dispute", Pool said.

After that deal, Levandowski began to oversee Uber's self-driving auto division.

Uber has seen a string of high-profile executive departures following a controversy over sexual harassment and discrimination. The company's treatment of its independent-contractor drivers has also been a constant focus of attention and almost led to a trial in California.

These are subtle criticisms, to be sure, but in combination with the judge's pointed defense of Waymo's pleadings, they're not a good portent for Uber.

Uber did not receive yesterday's news warmly. In a statement the company said "we remain confident in our case and welcome the chance to talk about our independently developed technology". In Uber's version of the story, it happened to hire a highly sought-after engineer who then stole documents from Waymo without Uber's knowledge.

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