The legal dispute between Waymo — Alphabet’s self-driving car subsidiary — and Uber is one of the more intriguing and incredulous legal sagas to hit the tech industry in quite some time. If you recall, Waymo earlier this year sued Uber alleging that former Waymo engineer and recent Uber hire Anthony Levandowski absconded with hundreds of gigabytes of proprietary information surrounding Waymo’s self-driving efforts.
Uber ultimately fired Levandowski this past May after refusing to cooperate with an internal Uber investigation into his hiring. That notwithstanding, Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber is still ongoing.
With the two companies battling it out in court, we’re starting to see a steady influx of intriguing court filings which house some entertaining text exchanges between Levandowski and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. As we highlighted this past August, one such exchange involved Levandowski throwing some shade at Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“We’ve got to start calling Elon on his s***,” Levandowski said in a text many months ago. “I’m not on social media but let’s start ‘#faketesla’ and start give [sic] physics lessons about stupid s*** Elon says.”
More recently, a new court filing from Waymo provides us with even more information surrounding Levandowski’s eventual employment with Uber. The court filing in question involves a due diligence report commissioned by Uber and includes a myriad of facts that Uber had unsuccessfully sought to keep out of the public eye.
Business Insider summarized some of the more interesting details thusly:
- Levandowski once pitched Google employees on Otto’s business during a ski trip to Lake Tahoe.
- Google self-driving car materials, including whiteboard sketches and pictures of equipment, were found on Levandowski’s iPhone.
- The cybersecurity firm even physically went to a data destroyal company — “Shred Works” — to verify whether Levandowski had five disks shredded as he had said. Nobody at the company recognized Levandowski but they found a potentially relevant receipt.
A particularly damning portion of the report reads in part: “”It is difficult to believe that Levandowski was not, prior to his interview, fully aware of the extent of the data that he had retained.”
Another segment relays that Lvandowski accessed Google data after leaving the company: “A review of the names of the deleted files indicates that they were source code and electronic design files relating to driverless cars,” the report indicates.
The full filing can be viewed below.