Waymo-Uber trial delayed over new evidence

Jon Howard
November 29, 2017

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".

Under questioning, Richard Jacobs, Uber's manager of global intelligence, said that Uber hired several contractors that employed former CIA agents to help the ride-hailing service infiltrate its rivals' computers. "I had questions about the ethics of it".

US District Judge William Alsup judge, who is presiding over Waymo's trade secret theft lawsuit against Uber, announced today that the trial, which was set to begin next week, will be delayed as the court tries to determine whether Uber withheld crucial evidence.

A trade theft trial between Uber and Alphabet's autonomous vehicle unit Waymo has been delayed after a hearing in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Waymo and Uber did not respond to requests for comment. According to Law360, a California judge ruled in Waymo's favor on Tuesday after Waymo accused Uber of hiding evidence that was discovered by federal prosecutors.

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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. The delay of the trial, previously set to kick off December 4, came after Waymo filed a last-minute motion Monday that claimed Uber had "intentionally". Part of that settlement can be withheld if Jacobs violates a provision requiring him not to say anything that would harm Uber.

Alsup described the allegations in the letter as "scandalous" and lashed out at Uber's legal team for not informing him about them before he was notified by the Justice Department. The lawyer also argued that the company used secretive communications channels for employee safety reasons.

Uber denied using any of Waymo's trade secrets.

Waymo filed its lawsuit against Uber in February. He didn't immediately set a new trial date.

The latest bombshell to drop on Uber came as the company tried to complete a $10 billion sale of its privately held stock.

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