Waymo’s intellectual property lawsuit against Uber is being further delayed from going to trial after new testimony called into question whether Uber withheld key evidence. The jury selection process was supposed to begin next week.
Former Uber employee and whistleblower Richard Jacobs testified today that Uber’s marketplace analytics team was tasked with unearthing information about competitors, including trade secrets and code, according to Gizmodo. He also said Uber employees used auto-deleting encrypted communication applications, effectively preventing a court from subpoenaing certain internal activity. Waymo is now asking for further information from Uber and an investigation into the contents of Jacobs’s letter, Gizmodo reports.
Jacobs had drafted a letter with lawyers to Uber’s in-house lawyer regarding the ethics of the above practices. That letter was later obtained by U.S. law enforcement as part of an investigation into Uber’s business. Law enforcement shared the letter with U.S. District Judge William Alsup last week, reports Reuters.
Just to recap this amazingly winding story: Waymo, Google’s autonomous car company, is suing Uber over trade secrets that one of its former employees, Otto founder Anthony Levandowski, may have stolen. Now the court is looking into whether Uber withheld potentially material evidence.