New details have been by revealed by Uber, pertaining specifically to statements made by the company's previous CEO, Travis Kalanick, during a deposition in the ongoing court battle between the ride-sharing giant and Google's Waymo. For those that haven't been following along, Waymo has taken Uber to task over the alleged theft of company secrets taken to Uber by former Google employee Anthony Levandowski. Kalanick recently stepped down from his position amid the many controversies happening at the company, though he plans to return at some undefined point. Levandowski, on the other hand, has been removed from any role at Uber and the company has publicly stated that any actions he took were not at the behest of Uber and maintains that Uber did not make use of any of Google's intellectual property (IP). The case itself started back in February
During his deposition – which lasted around 6 hours – Kalanick reasserted that Uber did not actually want any Google documents or files at all. Rather, according to a spokesperson for Uber, the company wanted to build its technology "from the ground up." In fact, according to Kalanick, Levandowski was even asked directly whether any of the files the former Google engineer had downloaded had made it to the company. Levandowski claimed that they had not. Kalanick went on to further indict Levandowski by claiming that he had downloaded the documents as insurance to an expectation that Levandowski held about receiving a bonus while still working for the Alphabet-owned search giant. Kalanick saw the move as "improper," according to the deposition, and pressed Levandowski, expecting Levandowski to cooperate with the courts and with Uber's internal investigation – though he has now remarked that the expectation was "stupid."
It isn't immediately clear whether or not Kalanick's 92-page deposition will have any effect on Waymo's case against Uber. It does appear that Uber never intended to participate in IP theft and at least three of Google's claims against the company have been dropped over the course of the deliberations. Kalanick's testimony could, if truthful, bring at least some resolution to the matters still withstanding or the case could drag on indefinitely.