Waymo v. Uber Headed to Trial

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 20, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Uber just missed its last exit before a trial that threatens the company's self-driving technology.

The company wanted to push the case into arbitration, but a federal judge denied its request. Trial is set to begin Oct. 10 in Waymo, LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc.

There's always a chance for a continuance, but that's not likely. Judge William Alsup is ready to go, and the orders are falling into place.

Moving Forward

After Alsup ruled against Uber's motion for arbitration in May, the company appealed. Affirming the judge's order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said there was no arbitration agreement between the parties.

The appeals court also ruled on another critical issue involving Anthony Levandowski, a former employee of Google's self-driving car division. The company is pursuing him in separate arbitration proceedings.

Levandowski sought to intervene in the civil case when the judge ordered Uber to hand over a report about Levandowski's sale of the technology to Uber. The company paid him $680 million for his startup and its technology.

"Mr. Levandowski fails to articulate any persuasive reasons why disclosure of the Stroz Report should be barred in this civil litigation, for the possibility of admissions against his interest is a valid function of civil discovery," the appeals panel said.

Moving Backward

The Stroz report may reveal more evidence that Levandowski stole the technology, which prompted him to assert an attorney-client privilege in the case.

Alsup, aware of the implications, has already referred the case to federal prosecutors for investigation.

"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.

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