Author Topic: Uber v Waymo  (Read 281 times)

LetterRip

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Uber v Waymo
« on: August 16, 2017, 03:30:06 PM »
Looks like the smoking gun has been found,

Quote
Today, Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven said that his team learned only on June 28 that Epiq, a litigation support firm that works for Uber and its law firm Morrison Foerster, had "a complete copy of the image of Levandowski's devices."

"We’ve been trying to get these documents since the outset of this case, and we still don’t have them," Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven told US District Judge William Alsup.

Uber attorney Arturo Gonzalez protested that Waymo's explanation was misleading. It's true that a digital forensics firm, Stroz Friedberg, imaged Levandowski's devices as part of Uber's acquisition. But only a "tiny sliver" of those images came into Morrison Foerster's offices, where they were reviewed by a single associate.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/08/waymo-to-judge-uber-should-be-held-in-contempt-for-withholding-documents/

So Uber has been denying from the outset that they had Google's documents.  The fact that MoFo had hard drive images all along likely containing the documents and failed to disclose this - wow.

This seems extremely bad for MoFo - can the lawyers here comment?  This seems extremely damaging.

jasonr

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Re: Uber v Waymo
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 04:03:05 PM »
Letterip forgive me but what is this case about?

Mynnion

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Re: Uber v Waymo
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 04:08:09 PM »
Here you go.

http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/03/googles-lawsuit-against-uber-could-destroy-uber.html

Key section from article.

Quote
Google charged that former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski abruptly left the company in early 2016 to found his own self-driving-trucking start-up, Otto. After only six months of operation, Otto was acquired by Uber in the summer of 2016 for over a half-billion dollars. The amount of money for, and quickness of, the acquisition raised Google’s suspicions, and it began an investigation into the time shortly before Levandowski left. Google claims it discovered that Levandowski accessed Waymo’s servers and snagged 9.7 GB of Waymo data before leaving to found Otto. Then, in December of 2016, a supply-chain manufacturer accidentally emailed a Waymo employee an attachment meant for Uber and Otto. That attachment, says Google, showed that Uber and Otto were copying a vital bit of tech for their self-driving cars. Google filed a lawsuit a few weeks later.

LetterRip

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Re: Uber v Waymo
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 04:21:46 PM »
Jasonr,

sorry for the lack of context.

Essentially the former Waymo/Google lead for self driving cars quit google, founded a new startup Otto, and Otto was acquired by Uber for insane sums of money.

Waymo has evidence that Levandowski, the employee in question

1) Took a bunch of google trade secrets when he quit google
2) That Otto and related companies for self driving cars were founded by Levandowski while he was still a Waymo employee, completely in violation of his contract
3) That Uber was in negotiations to acquire Otto before Levandowski even quit google.

Essentially the idea/claim is that Otto was just a shell company to transfer stolen Waymo trade secrets to Uber.

The judge ordered Uber to return any and all Waymo trade secret documents, and Uber has been maintaining that they didn't have the trade secret documents.

These hard drive/device images were made as part of Ubers acquisition of Otto.  So have been in Ubers possession since before the lawsuit.

Here is the complete arstechnica coverage, for greater depth,

https://arstechnica.com/series/waymo-v-uber/

LetterRip

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Re: Uber v Waymo
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 01:10:51 AM »
Fascinating development in Waymo vs Uber case, utterly unbelievable in some respects,

Quote
Three Uber employees testified today (Nov. 28) in a tense, hours-long hearing that was supposed to be the final one before the case went to trial. US district judge William Alsup ordered them to appear after the US Justice Department informed the court that the company had withheld key evidence. The letter, from an attorney representing Richard Jacobs, a former Uber security analyst, alleged that Uber’s Market Analytics unit existed to acquire “trade secrets, code-based & competitive intelligence.”

“I can no longer trust the words of the lawyers for Uber in this case,” the visibly angry judge said in court. “If even half of what is in that letter is true, it would be an injustice for Waymo to go to trial.” Alsup had referred the lawsuit for a criminal probe in May.

[...]

A Waymo attorney asked Jacobs under oath: “Your lawyer sent letter that you approved alleging that Market Analytics exists solely to acquire code and trade secrets from competitors, yes?” according to McPherson. Jacobs reportedly responded: “I disagree with this now. I have no firsthand knowledge. No knowledge at all.”

Jacobs also described Uber’s deliberate efforts to “prevent sensitive info from legal discovery.” “There was legal training around the use of attorney client privilege markings on written materials, and the implementation of encrypted and ephemeral communications, intended to both protect and destroy communications that might be considered sensitive,” he said, according to the Financial Times. Employees were told to use phone or video calls for sensitive conversations, and use the messaging app Wickr, which has encrypted, self-destructing messages.

https://qz.com/1140001/jacobs-letter-reveals-how-uber-could-have-concealed-14000-stolen-waymo-documents/

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/judge-delays-trial-after-ex-uber-employee-describes-rogue-behavior/

Uber had fired Jacobs, but after the letter they negotiated a 4.5 million settlement and hired him as a consultant.

If MoFo (Morrison Foerster) knew which it seems almost impossible that they didn't, it seems likely that this could end with MoFo lawyers and Uber executives in jail.

« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 01:15:23 AM by LetterRip »

LetterRip

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Re: Uber v Waymo
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 02:59:37 PM »
So, the letter alleging a bunch of shady stuff by uber has been revealed, that Uber decided to pay the author 4.5 million as a 'consultant' and that his lawyer was paid 3 million.  They hid this from discovery (I can see why they would want to - it is pretty damning).

Here is just one allegation in the letter,

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Among other explosive claims, the Jacobs Letter specifically says that two named high-level Uber employees, including Craig Clark, a since-fired Uber lawyer and Mat Henley, who still works at Uber and recently testified in court, orchestrated this scheme.

The men "led Uber's efforts to evade current and future discovery requests, court orders, and government investigations in violation of state and federal law as well as ethical rules governing the legal profession. Clark devised training and provided advice intended to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation of several ongoing lawsuits against Uber and in relation to or contemplation of further matters within the jurisdiction of the United States."

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/12/new-letter-top-uber-officials-engaged-in-illegal-wiretapping-shady-spycraft/

LetterRip

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Re: Uber v Waymo
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 03:37:29 PM »
And this Wired article goes into a variety of additional allegations in the letter,

https://www.wired.com/story/uber-waymo-lawsuit-jacobs-letter/

And here is the actual letter for those who want to read it,

https://www.scribd.com/document/367285552/Jacobs-letter#from_embed
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 03:42:00 PM by LetterRip »