Waymo Trial Delayed Again With Sharp Words for Uber From Judge
29 November, 2017, 00:31 | Author: Samuel Sharp
Waymo asked the court on Monday to postpone the start of the trial, which was set to begin next week, saying Uber had concealed the memo.
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. Law enforcement shared the letter with U.S. District Judge William Alsup last week, reports Reuters.
In a dramatic courtroom showdown on Tuesday in the bitter trade-secret dispute between Waymo and Uber, a visibly angry USA federal judge accused Uber's lawyers of withholding evidence.
Jacobs, whose lawyer wrote the letter at the center of the courtroom drama, testified Tuesday that Uber had set up a secret unit to steal trade secrets from its rivals overseas.
Waymo has estimated damages in the case at about $1.9 billion and wants to curtail Uber's self-driving vehicle program, which Waymo says uses its technology. 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.
Levandowski has since been fired by Uber. Under questioning by Uber lawyers, he described the importance of using secure communications for legitimate reasons, including ensuring the safety of workers overseas.
Uber's espionage team also hired contractors who employed former Central Intelligence Agency agents to help with its surveillance, according to Jacobs. Part of that settlement can be withheld if Jacobs violates a provision requiring him not to say anything that would harm Uber.
"We're going to have to put the trial off because if even half of what's in that letter is true it would be a huge injustice to force Waymo to go to trial", Alsup said on Tuesday, according to the WSJ, as he granted the delay.
The trial was originally scheduled for December 4. Hackers stole the personal information of 57 million Uber users in October 2016, and Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to keep the theft secret.
Waymo is alleging that Uber has been building its own fleet of self-driving cars by using trade secrets taken by former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski. Governments across the globe have launched investigations into the incident.
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