A new court document filed by Uber indicates that the company thinks some parts of the case between Waymo and Uber/Otto can be handled by arbitration, said The New York Times.
It all started earlier this year when Waymo, Google’s self-driving car research division gone solo, sued self-driving truck company Otto. Otto was co-founded by ex-Waymo worker Anthony Levandowski, who Waymo alleges stole a proprietary design for a radar system.
Waymo claims Levandowski downloaded roughly 14,000 highly confidential files to an external hard drive before leaving the company, some of which included the design for Waymo’s LiDAR circuit board. In the lawsuit, Waymo says the design was identical to the one Levandowski downloaded from Waymo servers before quitting.
Uber had previously dismissed the allegations, calling them baseless.
In a statement, an Uber spokesperson said, “We have reviewed Waymo’s claims and determined them to be a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor, and we look forward to vigorously defending against them in court. In the meantime, we will continue our hard work to bring self-driving benefits to the world.”
Waymo opted to do a forensic inquiry of Levandowski’s computer after a Waymo employee accidentally copied on an email from a LiDAR supplier with the subject line “Otto Files.”
The email was reportedly sent to people Waymo alleges work with Uber, including an attachment of drawings of Otto’s LiDAR circuit board. Waymo is seeking damages from both companies for what it contends is stolen trade secrets, unfair competition and infringement on patents.
Now it appears that Uber wants to handle via arbitration the accusation Levandowski stole Waymo intellectual property.