Waymo Trial Delayed Again With Sharp Words for Uber From Judge
Waymo Trial Delayed Again With Sharp Words for Uber From Judge
Judge delays Uber-Alphabet trial citing withheld evidence: 'The public is going to hear everything'
29 November, 2017, 01:28
A judge today delayed the start of a trade-secret theft case against Uber - after evidence that the upstart operated a secret trade-secret-stealing unit was revealed at the last minute.
The investigation hadn't been publicly known until Tuesday, when it surfaced in a court hearing that was supposed to set the stage for a trial pitting Uber against Waymo, a self-driving auto pioneer that started within Google eight years ago.
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Jacobs also testified in person on Tuesday, where he said that the surveillance team at Uber used "anonymous servers" separate Uber's main servers, according to Bloomberg.
Jury selection was set to begin Wednesday in a case over Waymo's allegations that Uber stole trade secrets covering its autonomous driving technology.
Jacobs had drafted a letter with lawyers to Uber's in-house lawyer regarding the ethics of the above practices.
"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.
Uber paid Jacobs $4.5 million as part of a confidential settlement after his firing, Jacobs said while being grilled by Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven.
The trial was originally scheduled for December 4. The judge has repeatedly criticized Uber in strong terms for withholding information and he had previously suspected possible criminal behavior.
Under questioning, Jacobs trod a very careful line where he claimed to be assisting the US Department of Justice in discovering whether any of the allegations contained within his letter were actually true. In October, he chided Uber layers for disclosing thousands of emails to Waymo just before the trial had been set to begin.
"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.
"It turns out the server is only for the dummies and the real stuff goes on the shadow system", Alsup said Tuesday during what was supposed to be a hearing to hammer out details ahead of next week's trial.
The suit against Uber, which Alphabet-owned Waymo filed earlier this year, stems back to engineer Anthony Levandowski. Levendowski left his role at Waymo in January 2016 to found another self-driving auto company called Otto, which was acquired by Uber in August 2016.
However, he did say that Uber acquired private code from an overseas competitor, and that Uber tried to identify employees at competitive companies who might leak to them.
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