The controversial self-driving car case is heating up.

By Kirsten Korosec
July 9, 2017

Waymo, the Google self-driving project that spun out to become a business under parent company Alphabet, has been ordered by a U.S. district judge to provide Uber with documents related to an alliance with rival Lyft.

The ruling, along with other court documents, was filed on Friday. Lyft declined to comment.

Waymo is suing Uber and Otto, the self-driving truck startup it acquired last year, for alleged patent infringement and stealing trade secrets. Uber has argued that the lawsuit filed in February is a strategy meant to delay the deployment of its self-driving vehicle technology.

This latest ruling isn’t a total win for Uber. The ride-hailing company wanted to be able to compel its competitor Lyft to share documents related to a deal with Waymo to bring self-driving car technology into the mainstream through pilot projects and product development efforts. The New York Times reported on the Waymo-Lyft alliance in May.

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A judge granted Lyft’s motion for a protective order and to quash the subpoenas. This means Lyft won’t have to provide any sworn testimony or share its internal documents with rival Uber. However, a judge has ordered Waymo to turn over its documents related to the deal. Waymo has until July 13 to comply with the order.

Uber requested all communications with Waymo about past, current, or potential competition with Uber, documents analyzing Lyft as a potential acquisition target, and any “term sheet” related to the deal between the two companies. Uber also wanted documents that would identify the first date that Lyft began discussion of any potential merger or agreement with Waymo.

In a separate ruling filed Friday, the court said Uber will also be allowed to depose Alphabet CEO Larry Page as well as David Drummond, the company’s chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development.

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