Uber’s bid to move Waymo court fight to arbitration denied by appeals court

The Uber logo is seen on a screen in Singapore
The Uber logo is seen on a screen in Singapore August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White

September 13, 2017

By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) – Uber Technology Inc’s attempt to move its high-profile trade secrets dispute with Alphabet Inc’s self-driving car unit Waymo to private arbitration was denied again by a U.S. federal appeals court on Wednesday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the closely watched case should continue in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Waymo <GOOGL.O> sued Uber [UBER.UL] in February, alleging theft of its proprietary information relating to its self-driving car program.

Waymo’s lawsuit accuses Anthony Levandowski, a former Waymo executive, of taking confidential documents with him when he left to create a startup later acquired by Uber. Levandowski is not a defendant in the case.

Uber denies these claims.

The ride-hailing company responded that Waymo’s claims should be arbitrated because Levandowski had an arbitration clause in his employment agreement with Waymo.

The Federal Circuit denied that argument in Wednesday’s ruling, affirming a lower court decision.

The court also upheld a ruling that Uber must produce a due diligence report on Levandowski’s startup prepared during its acquisition talks with the company in 2016.

Waymo has sought the document for months, saying it could shed light on what Uber executives knew of Levandowski’s actions.

Uber had refused to turn the document over, citing attorney-client privilege.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry)

  • monorprise

    Google violates other smaller companies ip rights all the time in copying their innovative features when they can’t simply buy them out. This is how google mantains it’s Monopoly.

    The big problem is lawers , under the federal injustice system justice only comes to the politicaly favorable and the one with the most money too offen.
    Judges don’t have to follow the law as written anymore they eyther make it up on the spot to suit their ends or they cherry pick 300 years of conflicting case law to do what they want.
    Google is a abusive Monopoly and they need to be broken up, along with Facebook and Amazon.