Waymo Wins Again

According to a recent report by TechCrunch, Waymo (Google) will be able to review the diligence report prepared by a third-party (Stroz Friedberg) to address the risks associated with acquiring Otto (Levandowski’s startup) and hiring Anthony Levandowski.

This is great for Waymo. It will allow them to see precisely what a third-party thought of the legal risks associated with hiring Levandowski, including what Stroz uncovered around the documents Levandowski took from Google.

Furthermore, if the Stroz report contains any evidence that Levandowski even attempted to use Google’s IP/trade secrets at Otto, it will be incredibly hard for Uber to mount a successful legal defense. Why is that so? Well, because Uber needs to be able to credibly argue that Otto could have been built without Google’s IP/trade secrets. If there’s evidence that Otto was built with Google’s IP — and this is a big IF — that argument simply cannot be made.

Moreover, if the report shows that Levandowski was using Google tech at Otto, Uber will automatically be painted as a party that aided and abetted Levandowski’s IP theft after the fact. Not a good look for Uber.

Of course, we don’t know what’s in the Stroz report yet. It could be pretty tame stuff. Stay tuned folks.