Alphabet's Waymo Wants Uber Trial Delayed

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Earlier this month, a federal court in California delivered Alphabet's self-driving auto unit, Waymo, a major victory: It ordered that Uber had to turn over a "due diligence" report that it commissioned at the time it purchased Otto, the self-driving truck company started by Anthony Levandowski after leaving Google.

Amid revelations on Wednesday that a Waymo-commissioned expert report estimated damages caused by Uber's alleged trade secret theft at $2.6 billion, U.S. District Judge William Alsup accused the Alphabet spinoff of crying "crocodile tears" in seeking to delay trial over the purported theft of self-driving vehicle technology. Uber, meanwhile, says Alphabet is merely trying to stall the proceedings because its allegations have weakened. Lawyers for Waymo say that Anthony Levandowski, who was head of Uber's self-driving auto project, illegally downloaded more than 14,000 files just before he left his job at Google. Levandowski later started Otto, his own self-driving truck business, which was later acquired by Uber in a bid to bolster its self-driving efforts.

During the hearing, Waymo's attorneys alleged that Levandowski had taken "thousands of photographs" of company documents displayed on a personal computer to avoid detection while duplicating the materials. Uber, for its part, has denied using Waymo's trade secrets. Last week, a federal appeals court directed Uber to disclose the said diligence report. Uber has not made a statement or clarified its stance over Waymo's latest appeal. What damages Waymo is requesting for the other eight weren't disclosed.

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In an explosive lawsuit that made headlines late February, Waymo alleged that Levandowski, who is now vice-president at Uber, stole 14,000 - or 9.7 GB of data - before leaving the folds of the company. Uber says none of those files made it to its servers.

Earlier this year Alphabet brought a lawsuit against Uber, accusing it of stealing trade secrets, several months later, Uber sacked Anthony Levandowski who is thought to have stolen the secrets. Currently, we know that Levandowski allegedly compromised nine trade secrets. However, Uber's stance was struck down in the court of law, when the judge noted that Wayo was well within the law in pursuing the case outside arbitration.

Alphabet and Uber declined to comment.

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