Buzz, TC, Waymo Uber

Judge orders Uber to hand over unredacted term sheet with Otto to Waymo

Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ordered today that Uber needs to hand over the full, unredacted term sheet between Uber and Otto to Waymo by the end of the day. Corley ultimately decided that there was no basis for Uber to redact the information because there was no privileged information shared with Otto prior to the acquisition.

“I don’t see any basis whatsoever for those redactions to be made and for that information to be withheld from Waymo,” Corley said.

Since Google’s Waymo self-driving car unit first sued Uber in February, Uber has also refused to turn over the due diligence report it conducted ahead of the Otto acquisition, arguing that it can’t be disclosed because it involves confidential information between attorneys and clients.

As the case approaches trial, Waymo has argued that there is likely information inside the due diligence report that could answer a lot of the questions Anthony Levandowski — the engineer accused of stealing self-driving car trade secrets from Google and using them at Uber — has refused to answer as a result of him invoking the Fifth Amendment.

Just yesterday, in notice by Judge William Alsup yesterday, Alsup essentially said that the privilege logs Anthony Levandowski provided to the court were garbage and did not provide any useful information.

“To give just one example, entire pages of the spreadsheet in response to RFP No. 3 consisted of line items that identified “document type” as “loose e-mail attachment” and were otherwise blank,” Alsup wrote. “Similarly, dozens of pages of the spreadsheet in response to RFP No. 1 appeared dedicated to email attachments identified only by email account, time stamp, and otherwise wholly non-descriptive information. It would be wrong to suggest that any of those “privilege log” entries could justify any claim of privilege.”

Quick context. On April 12, Alsup ordered Levandowski to provide logs justifying his assertion of the Fifth Amendment, saying that it should not be a long document and that he provide Waymo “enough of the argument so that they can respond.”

Last week, Uber notified Levandowski that he either needs to deny that he downloaded and took any documents from Google, or to hand over the documents to Google. Otherwise, he would be at risk of getting fired from Uber. Uber has already removed Levandowski from working on any projects related to LiDAR technology.

Levandowski’s lawyers argued that the Court’s order to Uber, as well as Uber’s threat to Levandowski, would violate his constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.

If you want more background around how the hell this whole thing started, be sure to check out TC’s ongoing coverage of the case here. I’ll be here all day, so be on the lookout for more updates.

Featured Image: John Sommers II/Transport Tropics/modified by Bryce Durbin/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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