undergroundnewsroom.com
undergroundnewsroom.com December 16, 2017


Waymo-Uber trial delayed over new evidence

29 November 2017, 01:10 | Gordon Grant

Judge delays Uber-Alphabet trial citing withheld evidence: 'The public is going to hear everything'

A self-driving Uber sits ready to take journalists for a ride during a media preview in Pittsburgh. A federal criminal investigation into alleged espionage at Uber has indefinitely delayed a trial over whether the beleaguered ride-hailing service stole

The 37-page letter, obtained by the Justice Department during an investigation into possible corporate espionage by Uber and sent to Alsup on November 22, revealed Uber had set up a secret intelligence team to steal trade secrets from Waymo and unnamed competitors overseas.

Jacobs testified today in civil court that the Marketplace Analytics team scoured competitors' GitHub accounts to find private code but balked at the letter's suggestion that the team stole trade secrets, particularly from Waymo.

Jacobs' allegations of a trade-secret stealing unit appear to have been sent in a letter from his attorney to Uber - a letter that Uber should have provided the court and Waymo as part of discovery but failed to do so - a situation that could also implicate Uber's attorneys.

Prosecutors had informed U.S. District Judge William Alsup that they were in contact with him during their own criminal investigation into Uber's alleged thefts. He also said that he was unemployed but appears to be on a million-dollar "consulting" contract with Uber that has an additional $1.5m payout at the end of that agreement.

Jacobs testified that the surveillance team used "anonymous servers" separate from the "main part of Uber".

The delay gives Waymo ― a self-driving vehicle business owned by Google's parent company ― time to investigate numerous bombshell allegations revealed in court Tuesday and (presumably) bolster its case.

The investigation hadn't been publicly known until Tuesday, when it surfaced in a court hearing that was supposed to set the stage for a trial pitting Uber against Waymo, a self-driving auto pioneer that started within Google eight years ago.

The trial had been scheduled to begin on Dec. 4. Waymo said it learned of the new evidence last week after the U.S. Department of Justice shared it with Alsup
Waymo Trial Delayed Again With Sharp Words for Uber From Judge

The hearing on Tuesday centered on a letter from a lawyer for former Uber security analyst Richard Jacobs that Uber did not show Waymo as both sides prepared their cases.

"It is possible that he has been bought off by Uber", Alsup said of Jacobs at one point during Tuesday's drama.

An Uber representative on Tuesday referred to an earlier company statement, which said Uber "has been waiting for its day in court for quite some time now" and was keen to have a jury hear the merits of the case. Legal trainings within the company also allegedly served to help employees evade investigators.

"It turns out the server is just for the dummies and the real stuff goes on the shadow system", he said. He didn't immediately set a new trial date.

Waymo sued Uber and co-defendant Ottomotto, a driverless trucking startup founded by former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski, on trade secret theft claims this past February. Levendowski left his role at Waymo in January 2016 to found another self-driving vehicle company called Otto, which was acquired by Uber in August 2016.

The latest bombshell to drop on Uber came as the company tried to complete a $10 billion sale of its privately held stock.

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