Waymo-Uber trial delayed over new evidence

Share

Waymo is now asking for further information from Uber and an investigation into the contents of Jacobs's letter, Gizmodo reports.

Uber employees researching rivals were given training with the goal to "impede, obstruct or influence any lawsuit against Uber", Jacobs said, including a communication strategy "to ensure we didn't create a paper trail that came back to haunt the company in any potential civil or criminal litigation".

U.S. District Judge William Alsup agreed to Waymo's request to delay the trial scheduled for next week, saying in San Francisco federal court that "if even half of what this letter is true it would be a huge injustice to force Waymo to go to trial" as planned.

Jacobs was part of the "Strategic Services Group" at Uber, although Bloomberg says the team has now been renamed.

"The only possible conclusion is that Uber intentionally withheld the Jacobs Letter and related materials to prevent Waymo from discovering material evidence in this case", Waymo's attorneys wrote in a filing.

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

Jacobs testified today in civil court that the Marketplace Analytics team scoured competitors' GitHub accounts to find private code but balked at the letter's suggestion that the team stole trade secrets, particularly from Waymo.

Jacobs said he learned of this activity through discussions at Uber with his manager and other colleagues.

Waymo filed its lawsuit against Uber in February. Legal trainings within the company also allegedly served to help employees evade investigators. But the judge wasn't swayed. 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. "None of the testimony (Tuesday) changes the merits of the case", Uber said.

In a dramatic courtroom showdown on Tuesday in the bitter trade-secret dispute between Waymo and Uber, a visibly angry US federal judge accused Uber's lawyers of withholding evidence. The markdown stems, in part, from the turmoil that has stained Uber's reputation and opened opportunities for rivals such as Lyft to lure away alienated passengers looking for alternative rides.

Share