‘No smoking gun’ in Waymo v. Uber case, but no ruling either — yet
There’s no ruling yet in the closely watched lawsuit between Waymo and Uber, wherein the former alleges the latter stole trade secrets in the process of hiring away engineer Anthony Levandowski. But the judge is openly skeptical of Waymo’s ability to prove that fact, telling the plaintiffs today that “so far you don’t have any smoking gun,” as reported by Reuters.
He did not, however, make any ruling, possibly because of Waymo’s secondary accusations that Uber has been unlawfully withholding documents relevant to the case.
Uber swears it’s checked and that certain allegedly stolen documents in question don’t exist, but has merely declined to turn over others related to its acquisition of Otto, the automation company Levandowski started. The judge is keen to see those and may yet order them turned over.
Levandowski’s taking the fifth and a massive stock grant from Uber the day after he left Waymo may raise eyebrows in suspicion but proof of a conspiracy is another question entirely. The case could also end up in arbitration, in the privacy of which the companies can more freely air their grievances and confidential documents.
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