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AP

Uber will focus its defense against a lawsuit from self-driving car tech competitor Waymo on showing that it instructed a former Waymo employee, whose startup it acquired last year, not to bring any proprietary files into the company, according to new court documents. Uber will also lay out evidence that it had no indication that the employee, Anthony Levandowski, had downloaded the files for the purpose of using Waymo's trade secrets.

Why it matters: From the initial filing of Waymo's lawsuit, Uber has been fighting the narrative that it secretly plotted with Levandowski to steal Waymo's trade secrets. Uber's legal defense largely hinges on disproving this.

There is one incident, which Uber first recounted last week and explains further in Wednesday's court filings, that reveals its top executives did find out early on that Levandowski was in possession of Waymo files. According to Uber, Levandowski was immediately told not to bring any of the materials into Uber, and later told the company he had destroyed the discs. Uber also says it was not aware that Levandowski had downloaded the files for any improper use, and might have done so because he wasn't sure that Waymo would pay him a $120 million bonus he was owed (and did eventually receive).

One remaining question mark in the upcoming trial is whether a due diligence report prepared as part of Uber's acquisition of Levandowski's startup will be made available. Despite Levandowski's attempt to keep the report out, both the presiding judge and a magistrate judge have ruled that it can't be kept confidential. Levandowski is appealing that decision. The document is believed to contain evidence that could incriminate Levandowski, though it wouldn't be problematic for Uber's defense, according to a source.

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.

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