Court Orders Uber To Return Stolen Files To Waymo

Uber's future may rely on predicting just what price you are willing to pay

Uber's future may rely on predicting just what price you are willing to pay

Uber Technologies Inc. threatened to fire the man at the center of its legal battle with Alphabet Inc., telling its top driverless technology engineer to either deny taking files from his former employer or turn them over. The suit has become a high-profile trade secrets case; Uber admits that Levandowski took Waymo documents but says it has not used Waymo technology in its own designs.

The information was believed had made its way into Uber's light detection and ranging systems (LiDAR) which is a key sensor technology in self-driving automobiles since it assists the cars to see and navigate the world. Levandowski is also accused of having stolen a treasure trove of Google documentation before leaving the company.

Apparently, Uber General Counsel Salle Yoo has told Levandowski, a former Waymo executive, that he must comply with the order to return Waymo documents or face possible contract termination, Levandowski's lawyers said in a court filing.

The auto firm refused to comment further than the court filing by Levandowski's lawyers. The engineer formerly worked at Alphabet's Waymo unit.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled last week that Mr. Levandowski's use of the Fifth Amendment doesn't bar Uber from firing him, and that the company shouldn't "pull any punches" in compelling him to surface more information around the allegedly stolen files.

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Uber is threatening to fire the engineer at the centre of its legal battle with self-driving auto firm Waymo unless he hands over documents from his previous employer.

The ride-hailing startup filed notice Thursday informing the Northern California federal court it has asked the Federal Court of Appeals to review a ruling last week denying Uber's motion to compel private arbitration in the lawsuit.

The US District Judge ruled out the argument saying that Uber can not implement arbitration contracts it did not sign. However, the judge also said few of Waymo's alleged trade secrets have been traced to Uber's self-driving vehicle technology, and that Waymo's patent claims against Uber have proved "meritless".

An Uber spokesperson did not immediately comment when contacted by Business Insider.

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