Aug 4, 2017

Uber wants to show why former employee took Waymo files


Despite Waymo's objections, Uber insists that it should be able to present evidence that a former employee downloaded an alleged 14,000 proprietary files for reasons tied to his compensation bonus while working at Waymo.

Why it matters: Waymo has filed a lawsuit against the ride-hailing company alleging that it's using secrets stolen by a former employee, Anthony Levandowski, whose startup Uber acquired last last year. This is one of Uber's arguments to defend itself against the accusation that it acquired Levandowski's company knowing that he had the proprietary files and plotted to use Waymo's technology to get ahead in the self-driving car race.

Waymo's take: Earlier this week, Waymo argued to the court that Uber waived its ability to keep certain conversations confidential because it openly told the court about Levandowski's statements that he downloaded the documents to ensure he receives his bonus. By that logic, Uber should reveal everything else discussed during those meetings. Levandowski's downloading of files would have also voided Waymo's obligation to pay him his bonus, according to a Waymo spokesperson, adding:

Uber's bonus theory is irrelevant as to whether Uber is using Waymo trade secrets in their technology, of which we have direct evidence. It is also 'far-fetched', as the Court has acknowledged, with the only source for this fake story being from Anthony Levandowski – the very person who stole 14,000 files and went to great lengths to cover his tracks.

Uber's take: In a response filed on Friday, however, the company says that while the meeting in which Levandowski made these statements to Uber's then-CEO Travis Kalanick was attended by one attorney, it was not for the purpose of legal advice. Other meetings on that day were, according to a declaration by Uber associate general counsel Angela Padilla. During its deposition of Kalanick, Waymo "muddled" these separate meetings, Uber argues. From a spokesperson:

Waymo says it wants to know what actually happened but is fighting behind the scenes to make sure the jury and the public never see the evidence. There are no Google files at Uber and eventually Waymo is going to have to face up to this fact.

The story has been updated with statements from Waymo and Uber.

Go deeper

History's largest lockdown leaves Indian workers stranded, afraid

A migrant worker on the move with his child, in Gurugram, India. Photo: Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty

Few moments better capture the world into which we've slipped than the decision of one man to order 1.4 billion into lockdown.

Why it matters: India’s three-week lockdown is the largest ever attempted, and it sparked South Asia's greatest migration since partition in 1947. While the economic effects could be devastating, the public health crisis it's intended to fend off could be more destructive still.

Go deeperArrow26 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 782,319 — Total deaths: 37,582 — Total recoveries: 164,565.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 161,807 — Total deaths: 2,953 — Total recoveries: 5,595.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

First U.S. service member dies from coronavirus

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

The Pentagon on Monday announced the death of a member of the New Jersey National Guard who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's the first U.S. service member — active, reserve or Guard — to die from the virus, according to the Pentagon. The guardsman passed away on Saturday after being hospitalized for the novel coronavirus on March 21.