Judge delays Uber-Waymo trade secrets trial

Judge delays Uber-Waymo trade secrets trial
© Greg Nash

A federal judge has pushed back until December the trial date in a dispute between Google-owned Waymo and Uber.

Waymo, which pushed for the delay, argues that Uber stole trade secrets on autonomous vehicles by hiring one of its former employees.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted Waymo's request, but expressed
skepticism that the legal challenge will succeed.

“It is not the home run they were expecting to find,” Alsup said. “I think when Waymo got into this, they thought they would open [Uber’s] files and find exact duplicates of Waymo.”

Alsup also said that he was frustrated with both Uber and Waymo for presenting “half-truths” in the case.

“I believe that Waymo has exaggerated the need for continuance and it’s not nearly as dire as what has been represented to me,” he said.

Alsup said the new trial date of Dec. 4 is non-negotiable.

Waymo alleged in a lawsuit earlier in the year that a former employee, Anthony Levandowski, stole 14,000 files on its self-driving car technology before leaving. Levandowski then started his own autonomous vehicle company, Otto, which Uber acquired, along with the files.

Uber maintains that it has not used the files that Levandowski brought over.

Waymo is handling its dispute with with Levandowski in private arbitration.