Waymo Wants To Postpone Uber Trial As New Evidence Emerges

Waymo filed a motion to postpone its trade secret theft trial with Uber which is scheduled to start on October 11 after the company started receiving a large volume of new materials including documents and devices from the defendant. The influx of new potential evidence came after a competent Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision made by the U.S. District Court in San Francisco mandating Uber to produce a due diligence report on Otto, a self-driving truck startup founded by former Googler Anthony Levandowski who supposedly downloaded thousands of sensitive documents from his previous employer, then used them in Uber's autonomous driving solutions once his company was acquired by the ride-hailing service provider in the summer of 2016.

Commonly referred to as "the Stroz report" as a reference to risk management firm Stroz Friedberg which Uber hired prior to its $680 million acquisition last year, the document presents the findings of an independent audit into Otto and may contain evidence which could prove or dismiss Waymo's claims that Uber was aware Mr. Levandowski was in possession of Google's self-driving trade secrets prior to acquiring the company. Waymo submitted its request to postpone the October trial to Judge William Alsup who scheduled a private hearing for tomorrow and may decide on the matter as early as this week. While Uber has yet to comment on the matter in any capacity, Waymo has been rather vocal about the recent turn of events, claiming that it needs more time to review the wide variety of new evidence which Uber was now compelled to produce. Alphabet's self-driving subsidiary believes there's a realistic chance that the documentation and devices provided by Uber will further strengthen its claim that the San Francisco, California-based firm misappropriated some of its trade secrets including a specific LiDAR design.

Apart from reviewing evidence, Waymo believes that the new materials will be the basis for additional depositions, briefings, and expert testimonies, all of which take time to organize and are hence a valid reason for a postponement of the trial which the ride-hailing company unsuccessfully tried to move to arbitration and away from the public spotlight earlier this year. Uber previously claimed that the Stroz report cannot be produced because it contains a number of its own trade secrets.

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