News Worms
News Worms


Judge postpones Uber trade secret trial based on bombshell memo

Judge postpones Uber trade secret trial based on bombshell memo

Waymo has asked the court for additional depositions with Uber's former CEO Travis Kalanick and Uber's lawyers to investigate the details contained in the Jacobs letter.

Uber employees researching rivals were given training with the goal to "impede, obstruct or influence any lawsuit against Uber", Jacobs said, including a communication strategy "to ensure we didn't create a paper trail that came back to haunt the company in any potential civil or criminal litigation". U.S. District Judge William Alsup said he takes Jacobs' testimony seriously because prosecutors believe it to be credible.

He also claimed that the team used a secretive messaging system on an anonymous server that would delete texts nearly immediately in order "to ensure we didn't create a paper trail that came back to haunt the company in any potential civil or criminal litigation". Waymo said that Uber intentionally hid key evidence in the case, and it needed more time to prepare for trial now that the evidence has come to light.

Alsup expressed his frustration with the company again on Tuesday. In light of the new evidence and allegations that Uber lawyers had been withholding Jacobs's letter, the judge indefinitely delayed the trial, which was set to begin on December 4. According to Law360, a California judge ruled in Waymo's favor on Tuesday after Waymo accused Uber of hiding evidence that was discovered by federal prosecutors.

Jacobs testified at the hearing that the letter contained allegations that Uber's markets analytics group "exists expressly for the goal for acquiring trade secrets, code base and competitive intelligence".

The judge overseeing the high-stakes trade-theft lawsuit between Uber and Alphabet's autonomous vehicle unit Waymo delayed the trial at a hearing in San Francisco on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.

Even before Monday's filing, the judge was considering whether or not to inform jurors that Uber had destroyed evidence in anticipation of the Waymo trade secrets lawsuit.

Jacobs said he learned of this activity through discussions at Uber with his manager and other colleagues.

The trial was originally scheduled for December 4.

Uber denied using any of Waymo's trade secrets. The judge also called Uber's espionage team "a plumber's unit doing bad deeds".

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