Technology Uber Renews Push for Arbitration in Waymo Trade-Secrets Case

15:30  19 may  2017
15:30  19 may  2017 Source:   Bloomberg

Uber threatens to fire self-driving car engineer in trade secrets case

  Uber threatens to fire self-driving car engineer in trade secrets case Uber has threatened to fire an engineer accused by Alphabet's self-driving Waymo unit of stealing confidential documents in a high profile trade secrets case between the two companies, according to a court filing. Waymo sued ride services company Uber Technologies alleging that former Waymo executive Anthony Levandowski downloaded over 14,000 confidential documents before leaving Waymo to subsequently join Uber.Uber has told Levandowski that he must comply with a court order to return Waymo documents or face possible termination, Levandowski's lawyers said in a court filing on Thursday.

Waymo ’s decision to file its trade - secrets case against Uber in court “was not only reasonable but also the only course available,” because Waymo has no arbitration agreement with Uber , Alsup wrote.

Waymo ’s decision to file its trade - secrets case against Uber in court “was not only reasonable but also the only course available," because Waymo has no arbitration agreement with Uber , Alsup wrote.

The Waymo logo is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. © Reuters The Waymo logo is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. renewed a bid to move its driverless-car trade-secrets fight with Waymo into closed-door arbitration.

The ride-hailing company on Thursday filed notice that it will appeal a May 11 ruling denying its request to move the conflict out of public court. A legal expert said an appeal is unlikely to succeed and wouldn’t delay a trial set for October that may tip the scales in the race to market autonomous cars that both companies believe will be worth billions of dollars a year.

Uber self-driving car case headed to court

  Uber self-driving car case headed to court Uber suffered a setback in a court case that could affect the development of self-driving cars when the judge referred the case to the U.S. Attorney for an investigation into the possible theft of trade secrets by an Uber executive. In the ruling, Judge William Alsup said the case must stay in court and not go to a private arbitrator as Uber had wanted."The court takes no position on whether a prosecution is or is not warranted, a decision entirely up to the United States Attorney," Alsup wrote in his order.

A lawyer for Uber told a federal judge on Thursday he intended to file a petition to compel arbitration in the Waymo trade secrets theft case , citing an agreement signed by a former Waymo employee who is at the heart of the case .

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“It’s a long shot for Uber," said Charlotte Garden, an associate law professor at Seattle University. The trial judge probably won’t pause the case to wait for an appeals court ruling, she said.

The fight over whether the case should be sent to a private arbitrator focuses on Anthony Levandowski, the former Waymo engineer who led Uber’s autonomous vehicle program until he was demoted last month. Waymo claims Levandowski downloaded thousands of confidential files before he left the company to launch his own self-driving startup, Otto, that was acquired by Uber for $680 million.

“In full view of the court, Waymo has presented strong evidence that Uber has stolen our trade secrets and used our confidential information,” a Waymo spokesman said Thursday. “Uber’s appeal is a blatant attempt to hide their misconduct from the public.”

Lyft partners with Waymo to launch self-driving car pilots

  Lyft partners with Waymo to launch self-driving car pilots U.S. ride services company Lyft Inc and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) self-driving car unit Waymo have launched a self-driving vehicle partnership, bringing together two rivals to dominant ride-sharing service Uber Technologies Inc.[UBER.UL] Lyft, the No. 2 U.S. ride service by ride volume, in a statement said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation and Waymo, which is beginning tests of a self-driving car service in Phoenix, said the partnership would let its technology reach "more people, in more places".

Uber Renews Push for Arbitration in Waymo Trade - Secrets Case . Uber Technologies Inc. renewed a bid to move its driverless-car trade - secrets fight with Waymo into closed-door arbitration .

A lawyer for Uber told a federal judge on Thursday he intended to file a petition to compel arbitration in the Waymo trade secrets theft case , citing an agreement signed by a former Waymo employee who is at the heart of the case .

While Levandowski isn’t a defendant in the suit, Uber says the dispute doesn’t belong in court because the engineer’s contract with Waymo contained a broad provision to resolve any disputes in arbitration. To bolster its case, Uber pointed to two arbitration proceedings Waymo initiated against Levandowski over his alleged poaching of employees.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco rejected the argument, saying Uber can’t enforce arbitration agreements it didn’t sign.

Waymo’s decision to file its trade-secrets case against Uber in court “was not only reasonable but also the only course available," because Waymo has no arbitration agreement with Uber, Alsup wrote.

In arbitration, the companies would able to choose an intellectual-property expert to referee their dispute. Arbitrators, who are usually lawyers or retired judges, are required to keep proceedings confidential, including final outcomes, but parties can speak publicly about awards unless they’ve agreed to keep quiet, according to Garden.

She said arbitration would benefit Uber primarily by keeping the case out of the public spotlight and also by limiting the scope of information sharing, or discovery.

The case is Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., 17-00939, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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The current flavor of Gogo’s 2Ku is installed on 170 aircraft globally, 100 of which are Delta planes. Gogo also works with British Airways, KLM, Virgin America, among other carriers.According to Wade, in about a year’s time, planes with 2Ku will get the latest tech. Gogo won’t disclose how much airlines pay for such upgrades, but the cost to install the equipment and certify the technology is measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per plane.The company says 1,600 aircraft, from 13 airliners, are committed to receive 2Ku, with most installations happening before the end of 2018.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/technology/-28487-uber-renews-push-for-arbitration-in-waymo-trade-secrets-case/

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