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As part of an on-going IP theft lawsuit from Alphabet's self-driving car unit against Uber, the parties had a private hearing before Judge William Alsup in United States District Court in San Francisco this week. Newly hired lawyers for Anthony Levandowski, the former Alphabet employee at the center of the lawsuit, told the judge that he would be exercising his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

Here are the main points the parties discussed with the court, according to a transcript obtained by Axios:

  • The judge warned lawyers for Uber and Levandowski that if they don't deny the allegations of stolen IP, there's a good chance he'll rule in favor of Alphabet's request for an injunction to halt Uber's self-driving car efforts.
  • Judge Alsup dismissed the idea that a list of vendors qualifies as a trade secret.
  • The judge warned the lawyers that he's not a fan of their attempts to redact significant portions of court filings and requests for private hearings.
  • Levandowski's attorneys want to prevent the naming of a third party that did due diligence on his company ahead of its sale to Uber, arguing it would infringe on his Fifth Amendment rights. Judge Alsup theorized that the third party likely has incriminating information that would prove Alphabet's claims, though Levandowski's attorney doesn't believe it's the case.
  • Uber's attorneys said they requested a private hearing to avoid headlines in the press about Levandowski's Fifth Amendment, something they're concerned would reflect badly on Uber even though it comes from Levandowski alone.
  • Judge Alsup wasn't happy that he learned of a prior attempt at arbitration through the news and not the lawyers. Uber's lawyers explained they were asked to keep all information about Levandowski's employment contract (and related arbitration) confidential by Alphabet's employment attorneys.
  • While Uber's attorneys warned that they ultimately can't force Levandowski to testify in the case, the judge countered that the company can order him to or else threaten to fire him if he doesn't.
  • The judge advised Alphabet's attorneys to request to have their experts inspect Uber's self-driving technology to see if it's similar to its own.
  • Levandowski's attorneys clarified that his decision to exercise his Fifth Amendment right may change as the case moves forward.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Anita Dunn advises Dems on economy message for '22

Signs from a President Biden event yesterday in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Chase Castor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a midterm preview, top Democratic strategist Anita Dunn advises the party's House and Senate members to frame Republicans "as being against the economic interests of working Americans."

What she's saying: "Explicitly framing Republicans as opposing policies to lower costs does better than simply framing Republicans as the 'party of no,'" Dunn, White House senior adviser until August, writes in the memo.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.