The Waymo case against Uber was due to begin in October, but was delayed to give the Alphabet division more time to examine last-minute evidence. Rescheduled to begin next week, the trial has again been postponed after information and other bombshell allegations that Uber withheld have surfaced.
Last night, before the final pretrial meeting today, Waymo requested that the upcoming trade secrets case set to begin on Monday be delayed. At issue, again, is information that Uber withheld.
The evidence in question is a letter from former Uber security analyst Ric Jacobs. It alleges that Uber trained employees how to “impede, obstruct or influence” legal investigations. One method involved the use of ephemeral messaging apps, specifically Wickr, so they “didn’t create a paper trial.”
Meanwhile, Jacobs alleges that Uber’s autonomous team in Pittsburg was trained about using such apps.
This document was first brought to the attention of presiding Judge William Alsup by the U.S. Attorney investigating whether there was criminal trade secret theft by Uber. The ride hailing company had previously been ordered to disclose all relevant information, but only produced this letter on the Friday night after Thanksgiving.
Judge Alsup granted Waymo’s request and noted, “if even half of what is in that letter is true, it would be an injustice for Waymo to go to trial.” He also added that, “I can no longer trust the words of the lawyers for Uber in this case.”
Meanwhile, the judge ordered that the Uber employee in question testify during today’s pre-trial meeting.
Waymo claims that the letter explains why the 14,000 documents stolen by Anthony Levandowski did not appear on Uber’s servers. As revealed during today’s testimony, Uber allegedly maintained servers that were independent of the company’s main system.