During a tense exchange, Judge William Alsup allowed an Uber lawyer to disclose that Alphabet’s Waymo is seeking $2.6 billion for the highest value of a series of stolen trade secrets. There are currently nine trade secrets in question that were allegedly compromised by Anthony Levandowski.
Waymo’s lawyers, who took time to consider whether to attempt to keep the number private, asserted that the number is based on Waymo and Uber documents that were marketed attorneys’ eyes only. We only know that Waymo is seeking a maximum of $2.6 billion. There isn’t currently any firsthand knowledge of whether these alleged trade secrets were actually used by Uber.
Judge Alsup has criticized Waymo’s lawyers for failing to trim down their case to accommodate reasonable court schedules. Much of today’s conversation focused on whether Waymo should be granted a Motion to Continue that would delay the trial.
The extra time would give Waymo time to explore new evidence. Waymo’s lawyers cited 64,000 images that Levandowski took of allegedly proprietary information. It is possible that these pictures or screenshots were a way for Levandowski to maintain ownership of Waymo trade secrets while deleting the original files.
Uber’s lawyers believe that Waymo is just stalling to swap or even add new trade secrets to the trial. Judge Alsup remained alert to the motivations of both sides and asked that both legal teams push harder to make their arguments as to whether the trial date should be delayed.
The trial is currently slated to begin on October 10th and last for three weeks. Waymo’s lawyers proposed a new trial date of December 5 that could be concluded in two weeks. Judge Alsup is expected to make a decision on when the trial will start on October 3. He asked both groups to prepare as if the trial was not going to be delayed.
Update: This post was clarified to explain that Waymo is seeking a maximum of $2.6 billion.