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Uber-Waymo Trial Delayed, Judge Admonishes Uber For Reportedly Withholding Evidence

Servers.Wikimedia Foundation/Wikimedia

The legal battle between Uber and Waymo over disputes regarding stolen self-driving technology was supposed to go to trial next week. Due to a recent development where Uber’s legal team is being accused of withholding evidence, however, the judge decided to delay the trial date. The revelation reportedly comes from a former employee of the ride-hailing firm, as well.

This new twist came via a letter written by Richard Jacobs’ lawyers, which claimed that Uber’s Marketplace Analytics division had secret servers that could have held the stolen data from Waymo, Gizmodo reports. What makes this letter damning for the cab-hailing company is that Jacobs was apparently formerly part of its global intelligence team, thus giving his claim credence.

Just for context, these servers are apparently intended to be separate from Uber’s main network. It was also meant to dig up and store information in a way that would not lead back to the company. Now, the court is trying to determine if this new information means that the stolen self-driving technology documents could have been saved on these servers.

An interesting point to this new development, however, is the fact that the letter from Jacobs’ legal team is separate from the ongoing legal battle between Uber and Waymo. In fact, when asked if these servers contained the stolen files, Jacobs could not confirm that this was the case. Uber then used this opportunity to cast doubt on the merits of this separate case pertaining to its battle against Waymo.

“None of the testimony today changes the merits of the case. Jacobs himself said on the stand today that he was not aware of any Waymo trade secrets being stolen,” an Uber spokesperson said.

Judge William Alsup, who is overseeing the case is not so easily convinced, however. Upon hearing about the existence of the hidden servers, he rebuked Uber’s legal team and said that he can no longer trust anything they say, The New York Times reports.

“I can no longer trust the words of the lawyers for Uber in this case,” Judge Alsup said. “If even half of what is in that letter is true, it would be an injustice for Waymo to go to trial.”

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December 15 17:00 UTC Released

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