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Uber-Waymo trial delayed as United States judge raises prospect of 'cover-up'

29 November, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Waymo seeks delay of Uber trade secrets trial over new evidence

The evidence at the heart of the postponement was a letter from a former Uber security analyst's attorney to an Uber lawyer.

Alsup expressed his frustration with the company again on Tuesday.

Alsup concluded that Uber withheld critical evidence that could substantiate Waymo's claim that its competitor stole highly valuable trade secrets to advance its self-driving auto technology.

Uber instructed certain employees how to "impede, obstruct or influence any lawsuit" against the company, and used strategies "to ensure we didn't create a paper trail that came back to haunt the company in any potential civil or criminal litigation". "You're making the impression that this is a total cover-up".

Also in court was current Uber employee Ed Russo, who was a part of the same unit, and who denied Jacobs' allegations, stating that they were untrue.

Uber is accused of using cloak-and-dagger tactics.

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.

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Levandowski has since been fired by Uber.

Jacobs had drafted a letter with lawyers to Uber's in-house lawyer regarding the ethics of the above practices.

Jacobs took the stand to testify about the letter's statement that Uber's Marketplace Analytics "exists expressly for the goal of acquiring trade secrets, code-based & competitive intelligence", as Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven said, quoting from the letter. After Levandowski left Google in 2016 (before parent company Alphabet spun Waymo into its own company), he launched the autonomous truck company Otto and sold it to Uber.

Judge Alsup granted Waymo's request and noted, "if even half of what is in that letter is true, it would be an injustice for Waymo to go to trial". Rescheduled to begin next week, the trial has again been postponed after information and other bombshell allegations that Uber withheld have surfaced.

The ride-hailing service is the most valuable private USA company, but its aggressive expansion has been dogged by scandals.

The trial between Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving auto subsidiary, and Uber over the rideshare company's alleged theft of intellectual property took a turn toward ludicrous during a hearing in San Francisco on Tuesday. Governments across the globe have launched investigations into the incident.



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