Waymo Trade Secret Trial Delayed After Uber Accused of Sneakily Withholding Evidence

Waymo Trade Secret Trial Delayed After Uber Accused of Sneakily Withholding Evidence

Under questioning, Richard Jacobs, Uber's manager of global intelligence, said that Uber hired several contractors that employed former CIA agents to help the ride-hailing service infiltrate its rivals' computers.

The hearing instead quickly turned into a forum raising more questions about Uber's ethics and corporate culture.

Jacobs also testified in person on Tuesday, where he said that the surveillance team at Uber used "anonymous servers" separate Uber's main servers, according to Bloomberg.

The Uber-Waymo trial has been delayed again, this time because a former Uber employee alleged in court on Tuesday that stealing trade secrets from other firms was standard operating procedure at the ride-sharing firm.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup moved at a hearing Tuesday to immediately take witness testimony over what he described as potentially criminal conduct involving a hidden system of messaging at Uber.

Uber has denied using Waymo trade secrets and rejects the financial damages claim, but has fired the leader of its autonomous vehicle division, who is alleged to have stolen Waymo data before joining Uber.

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Uber paid Jacobs $4.5 million as part of a confidential settlement after his firing, Jacobs said while being grilled by Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven. "I can't trust anything you say because it has been proven wrong so many times", Alsup told Uber attorney Arturo Gonzalez. He was asked by a lawyer for Waymo about a staff attorney at Uber who allegedly guided efforts to "impede, obstruct, or influence" lawsuits against the company.

Jacobs took the stand to testify about the letter's statement that Uber's Marketplace Analytics "exists expressly for the goal of acquiring trade secrets, code-based & competitive intelligence", as Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven said, quoting from the letter.

Waymo filed its lawsuit against Uber in February.

"There is a 50-50 chance that this is going to turn out very bad for Uber", Alsup said. A new start date hasn't been set. Anthony Levandowski, an engineer who left Waymo to spearhead Uber's self-driving auto unit, allegedly stole thousands of confidential documents on his way out the door, but Uber has maintained that those documents never reached its corporate servers.

The latest bombshell to drop on Uber came as the company tried to complete a $10 billion sale of its privately held stock.

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