Waymo wants its lawsuit against Uber over allegations of stealing trade secrets to be public

Picture credit: Takayuki Yamazaki

Alphabet’s Waymo wants its lawsuit against Uber over allegations of stealing trade secrets to be public, according to Recode.

The company filed an opposition request late last night to Uber’s motion for arbitration. If the case went to arbitration, an alternate form for dispute resolution, it would remain in private.

Alphabet self-driving subsidiary Waymo “has not consented to arbitrate this dispute with Uber,” the new filing said, “and Waymo cannot be coerced into arbitration simply because the trade secrets that Uber stole and that Uber is using in Uber’s self-driving cars happen to come from former Waymo employees. That is not the law.”

Waymo alleges that its proprietary self-driving technology is being used by Uber illegally.

Waymo claims that Uber’s self-driving head who is at the center of the case, Anthony Levandowski, stole 14,000 files from Waymo, where he worked on self-driving technology before leaving to launch autonomous truck startup Otto. https://goo.gl/MxSy9p

Uber acquired Otto in August.

Waymo alleged the files Levandowski stole include designs for Alphabet’s lidar (light detection and ranging) technology. Lidar is a key component to most self-driving systems.

Uber has claimed that its self-driving technology is unique and distinct from what Alphabet has created. It has argued for arbitration on grounds that the lawsuit stems from the actions of Levandowski while he was with Alphabet, and so should be covered by Alphabet’s employee agreement with him.

Employee agreements at Alphabet maintain that disputes with the company should be resolved in arbitration, according to Recode.