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The Courts Google Transportation

Waymo: Uber Plotted With Former Exec Before He Left Google (axios.com) 45

Ina Fried, writing for Axios: Lawyers for Google's former self-driving car unit showed internal Uber emails Wednesday that it says bolster its case that former executive Anthony Levandowski was conspiring to steal trade secrets before he left Waymo. The parties are in court Wednesday trying to convince a federal judge to halt Uber's work on self-driving cars. In arguing for an injunction, Waymo lawyers argued that Uber and Levandowski devised a plan to come up with a company for Uber to later buy. Uber did later purchase Otto, a self-driving truck company where Levandowski was a founder. "Clandestine plan": "Secretly Levandowski and Uber were planning while he was still at waymo and negotiating a deal," Waymo outside attorney Charles Verhoeven said, siting internal Uber e-mails, including some from former Uber executive Brian McClendon, a former Google Maps head who ran some of Uber's advanced technology operations before leaving the company in March. "There was this clandestine plan all along that Uber and Levandowski had a deal."
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Waymo: Uber Plotted With Former Exec Before He Left Google

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  • It seems like Uber execs are determined to get sent to jail. I hope the authorities humor them in their quest. ;)

  • by bettodavis ( 1782302 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @04:13PM (#54350619)
    After hearing that Tim Cook told their CEO off for their shenanigans, and a significant increase of similar news items, one has to wonder if Uber has a serious problem of dishonesty, starting at the CEO level.
    • one has to wonder

      Have they left anything to our imaginations at this point? I thought it was already widely accepted as fact that they've been rotting from the top.

    • by orient ( 535927 )
      Wasn't that obvious for years now? "The law doesn't apply to us" sounds dishonest to me.
      • Wasn't that obvious for years now? "The law doesn't apply to us" sounds dishonest to me.

        I don't think they ever took that position. The position they took was "The law is wrong. We'll charge ahead and show there's a better way, and it will be changed." And I think they're right about that. It appears to be about the only thing they're on the right side of, though.

  • "The judge overseeing the case, William Alsup, challenged Waymo to show evidence that Uber knew Levandowski had downloaded company documents. Verhoeven argued that it can't because Levandowski is asserting his right against self-incrimination and Uber has withheld more than 3,000 documents that might prove the point."

    "Uber's response: Uber says it is has the right to assert privilege on the documents in question. "We're not hiding anything," Uber outside lawyer Arturo Gonzalez said. "The privilege we are cl

    • by nomadic ( 141991 )
      Eh, that's their job, though. During litigation parties have the right not to produce documents that fall under various privileges. Otherwise you could just ask your opponent to turn over trade secrets, litigation strategies about your own lawsuit, etc..
    • Yes, Uber are claiming that the "privilege log" of the Otto acquisition is itself privileged as it contains lawyer correspondence. If that isn't knocked down by Alsup it will allow pretty much every corporation to decline to produce privilege logs for investigation of malfeasance.
    • So Uber's lawyers have checked those documents over and determined there is nothing in there, trust them!

      That's not what they said. They didn't say there isn't anything incriminating in those documents, they said that they have a right to withhold them because they're protected by attorney-client privilege. The "we're not hiding anything" just means that they believe they have a legal right to withhold the documents, not that there's nothing in them.

  • So besides charges/damages vs. Uber executives who pulled it off, and damages vs Uber itself (calculated based on Uber valuation minus taxi business?) is there grounds to bar Uber from operating in the "AI driven vehicle" sector at least for period of time?

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

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