Judge Rejects Uber Exec’s Request to Plead the Fifth in Waymo Trade Secrets Theft Case
There’s a new development in the Alphabet – Uber legal battle.
On Monday, the judge in Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber for reportedly stealing trade secrets said that the ride-hailing giant “must disclose certain basic details of a due diligence report,” according to Recode. In other words, the judge rejected an Uber executive’s request to plead the Fifth Amendment and keep details relating to the case out of the public eye.
Waymo, the Google self-driving project that spun out to become a business under Alphabet, filed a lawsuit against self-driving truck startup Otto and its parent company Uber for patent infringement and stealing trade secrets back in February. The suit alleges that Uber executive and Otto founder Anthony Levandowski downloaded more than 14,000 confidential files, including proprietary Waymo technology designs, shortly before he resigned from his job at Google’s Waymo.
In March, Uber sought to move the trade secret lawsuit to private arbitration to keep company details out of the public eye. Meanwhile, Levandowski filed a motion requesting that details of the due diligence report referencing those confidential files not be included in the lawsuit. Levandowski invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination, stating that there was “potential for criminal action” in the case, according to the New York Times.
Judge William Alsup blocked that motion, and said, “There will be time enough to argue soon over whether the due diligence report itself must be produced, but for now that report must be put on a privilege log in the conventional way — without any of the redactions requested by counsel for Levandowski.”