The legal fight between Uber and Alphabet’s Waymo intensifies. Uber asked judges to redirect the public lawsuit to the comfort of a private room behind closed doors. However, the court ruled against private hearing request. Therefore, the trade secrets lawsuit will continue to develop under the eyes of an entire world.
Waymo Believes Private Hearing Request Was a Way to Avoid Jurisdiction
On Thursday, a U.S. judge managed to develop even further the court battle between Alphabet and Uber. The authority partially approved Alphabet’s claim that puts Uber’s efforts to create its self-driving department on hold. Moreover, Judge William Alsup denied Uber’s request to move the trade secrets lawsuit into a private hearing.
This set of decisions greatly impaired Uber and its substantial efforts into consolidating its position within the autonomous vehicles industry. The ride-hailing company tried to win an advantage in the presence of upcoming probes that might incriminate it for good.
Waymo commented Uber’s initiative as an attempt to avoid receiving a possible jurisdiction from the court. The company continued this statement by endorsing Thursday’s decision. Waymo opened this case in February. Its main complaint is that Lewandowski sent trade secrets to Uber without Alphabet’s consent.
This professional used to work for Waymo where he played the main role in developing its autonomous technology. However, he left the company to work with Uber. Soon afterward, Uber announced plans for a self-driving car that were similar to Alphabet’s concept. As such, the two companies went to court to settle the matter.
Court Might Issue Preliminary Injuction for Uber
Two weeks ago, Uber requested to turn the lawsuit into private hearing. Its main argument to support this claim stood in Levandowski’s employee contract. This document clearly stated that any strife that stems from his business relationship should be taken to arbitration.
On the other hand, Waymo attacked the request by claiming that the lawsuit named Uber as a defendant and not Levandowski. With the judge’s ruling of denying Uber’s request, the verdict indicates that the company might also receive a preliminary injunction. This could constrain Uber to create only certain kinds of self-driving vehicles.
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