A little over a month ago, Google‘s parent company Alphabet — or, more specifically, its Waymo subsidiary — filed a lawsuit against Uber, which allegedly stole key information with regard to its self-driving technology.
Given that, beyond the lawsuit itself, Uber’s reputation is at stake, the ride-hailing company has tried to deny the accusations and kept things as quiet as possible ever since, but the Mountain View giant doesn’t seem to be exactly on the same page…
Yesterday, in fact, Alphabet filed an opposition to Uber’s request for arbitration (via Recode), which would have essentially granted the whole debacle to remain private. As the filing states, Waymo has “not consented” to arbitrate the dispute, and that it cannot “be coerced into arbitration simply because the trade secrets that Uber stole and that Uber is using in Uber’s self-driving cars happen to come from former Waymo employees”.
“That is not the law,” it added. Uber had argued for arbitration because its employee Anthony Lewandoski’s actions — the man said to have stolen over 14,000 files from Alphabet before departing the company to co-found Otto, which was then acquired by Uber — was still at Alphabet when the misconduct took place, so, according to them, any proceeding should be regulated according to the firm’s employee agreement with him.
However, the name Lewandoski doesn’t appear at all in the lawsuit. “Anthony Levandowski is not a defendant in this case. Nor is this an employment dispute between Waymo and Mr. Levandowski,” reads the opposition. “Uber is the defendant in this case, and Uber is responsible for its own misconduct.”