Uber Likely to Face Injunction in Waymo Case

In February, Waymo announced that they were filing a lawsuit against Uber. This was due to the fact that a former employee at Waymo had downloaded 14,000 files which included plenty of trade secrets and other components that were specific to Waymo's hardware, and then took them to Uber. Now that the lawsuit is underway, and Waymo has already filed to get an injunction on Uber, the US District Judge that is overseeing the case is pretty close to slapping an injunction on the ride-sharing company. The judge had given Uber until March 31st to dig up the files and submit them to the court, they failed to do so. And Judge William Alsup basically told Uber and their lawyers to "look harder" but in a more appropriate way.

According to Uber's lawyer Arturo Gonzalez stated that they have gone through about 12TB of data in just two weeks and found nothing. Gonzalez also stated that his team is going to demonstrate that "those 14,000 files never made it to Uber." Perhaps the most interesting part of this most recent hearing is that Uber had agreed to a search of all relevant servers using 15 search terms that Google chooses (perhaps not a good idea allowing the number one search giant to do that). Judge Alsup also instructed that everyone at Uber who has anything to do with LiDAR get searched, to hopefully find those 14,000 files. As you might expect, Uber has a large amount of servers, and their lawyer also mentioned that this is going to take some time, given how many servers are in use at Uber.

So far in this case, Uber and Anthony Levandowski (the employee who downloaded 14,000 files from Waymo's private servers then left the company a month later) have been uncooperative withe the court and Waymo. It's unclear how that may affect the outcome of the case, but it definitely isn't going to help Uber, nor Levandowski in the long run. This case is far from over, and if Uber is unable to find those files that allegedly were taken to Uber from Waymo, they may be facing an injunction, where Levandowski won't be able to work on this project.

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