Waymo seeks to bar Uber engineer from driverless car project




Waymo says it’s uncovered new evidence that Uber Technologies Inc. took and copied its trade secrets and urged a judge to bar the head of the ride-hailing company’s driverless car program from continuing to work on the project.
Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo made the request as a federal judge weighs whether to issue a court order that may impede Uber in the race to market autonomous-driving vehicles. US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said last month that Waymo has a strong case that its former engineer, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded thousands of confidential files before he left the company to launch his own self-driving startup, Otto, that was acquired by Uber for $680 million.
With “substantial evidence” that Levandowski violated obligations to protect his former employer’s proprietary information before joining Uber, the judge is considering options to “keep further harm from occurring,” said Jim Pooley, a Silicon Valley intellectual property lawyer. “Putting somebody into quarantine from a program of product development is not unheard of at all,” Pooley said.
Waymo, in an attempt to undercut Uber’s claims that its technology for lidar sensors is completely different from its rival’s designs, said in a court filing on Friday that Uber is engaged in a “cover up” of its trade secret theft.

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