back to article Uber red-faced from Waymo legal row judge's repeated slapping

Uber has two weeks to make sure Waymo receives all of its stolen documents back and one month to give a full accounting of all its interactions with the former-Waymo engineer who stole them. That's the upshot of a damning partial injunction [PDF] issued by the judge in the trade secrets case on Monday – a judgment that …

  1. John Gamble

    How To Look Like a Genius

    "The judge also notes that it is more than possible that Levandowski simply kept the files on a personal device and referred to them whenever needed."

    That was my first thought as well. What better way to look like an indispensable genius than to keep code and designs for yourself, to be produced after an apparently difficult work session when a tough problem needs to be cracked?

    1. JimC

      Re: How To Look Like a Genius

      Equally though its an obvious precaution to have your code thief keep the stolen material off your systems and on a personal device. That way your company has all the benefits of having the stolen code available to refer to and also has a level of plausible deniability.

      Have to admit though, there is something awfully ironic about Google getting upset about people plundering their IP for business advantage.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Title says it all...

    1. paulf

      Re: Whoops!

      Whoops indeed as there's repeated spelling mistakes in the article. Continued references to "Uber developing LiDAR technology" don't seem right as LiDAR has acquired a superfluous "D".

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    It's nice to hear from a clueful judge for a change, especially in such technical matters.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "It's nice to hear from a clueful judge for a change, especially in such technical matters."

      Don't underestimate judges. Their careers have usually been built on an ability to master complex cases.

    2. Mike Moyle

      This Judge Alsup seems to be a very busy (and sapient!) fellow:

    3. a_yank_lurker

      Judge Alsup taught himself Java so he could understand enough about programming to properly follow the evidence in Oracle v Google. He has a definite interest in technical fields and he is not a judge you can easily BS.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Obviously just another "so-called" judge!

      Mines the one with the red baseball cap in the pocket.

  4. Number6


    Google had put in place pretty good security: you had to use special software called TortoiseSVN to access the repository and all traffic to and from it was both encrypted and authenticated; the user list was regularly audited.

    What's special about TortoiseSVN? It's just another SVN GUI client, isn't it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tortoise

      I think they were trying to say you could only use a google specialised version of TortoiseSVN, however, they may have just straight up mangled the language, it happens.

      1. joeldillon

        Re: Tortoise

        Or the author just doesn't have experience of revision control.

        'Google had put in place pretty good security: you had to use special software called TortoiseSVN to access the repository and all traffic to and from it was both encrypted and authenticated'

        is basically standard everywhere in software development these days - we use revision control, revision control is a bit useless without an account for each committer (so you know who committed what), and that implies a password. Every place I've worked in the last 20 years has had that in some form.

        1. no-one in particular

          Re: Tortoise

          > and all traffic to and from it was both encrypted and authenticated


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "special software called TortoiseSVN"

    Um... Hardly "special" for anyone involved in software development...

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: "special software called TortoiseSVN"

      "Hardly "special" for anyone involved in software development..."

      Is TortoiseSVN designed especially for Logo?

  6. shodanbo

    Seriously. Who is surprised by this,

    1) Through hard work, perseverance and luck, I will succeed


    2) Fuck em all, I need an edge, steal, lie, cheat .... odds favor this path.

    Said another way ...

    "You cannot guarantee success, but you can deserve it when it happens" ....


    "Screw that, I want to guarantee success, who cares if I deserve it?"

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Hi, my name is Vordrord Quordledroop from Extravangaza Capital and I'd love to talk to you about your idea!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HIGH risk insurance...

    Would you pay for a Uber to pick you up in a self driving car using Waymo tech.? With the level of corporate espionage already happening, who would rule out corporate sabotage at the cost of public lives. Of course, who would believe that a billion dollar corporation would risk lives to squash a rival corporation? Or maybe at this point, who wouldn't believe it.

    1. Robert Helpmann??

      Re: HIGH risk insurance...

      No. Having read enough about Uber to know better, I do not use them and advise friends and relatives to avoid the service. At heart, my argument is that it is best not to give money to bad people as it just encourages them continue being bad.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Charge Kalanick with obstruction of justice and send the deputies to pick him up. I bet they'll change their tune pretty sharply.

  9. Amorous Cowherder
    Thumb Down


    ...the online version of a dirty, grotty little mini-cab firm you find in any city backstreet, employing their mates who're less than reputable scumbags fresh out of clinky.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "a court-appointed "special master" will make sure the order is followed."

    "Anthony, while we're working together I'd like you to adopt suitable work attire"

    Joking aside (who knew "special master" was a thing in US Courts?) Uber seem to be having some difficulty explaining exactly what his contribution to the project is. This could be because it was

    a) Phenomenally complex demanding a PhD in Physics to follow (the "We were told 'you want to get this done, he's the man you need. With him on board you can't fail" defense) or

    b) To steal a shedload of date from Google and make it accessible to Uber without leaving them anywhere on their corporate network where discovery could find it. Sarbanes Oxley and all that.

    Were he found guilty of b) that would make him a) Probably the worlds highest paid industrial spy and Uber (if they handed it all over in one lump) the worlds dumbest employer of industrial spies.

    There's a slight chance AQ Khan may have made more from the sale of the European gas centrifuge design to various nations but I somehow doubt it.

    Note Trial not done. Could be acquitted of all charges. Leaves court without a stain on his character etc.

    But Waymo don't come out of this too well either. 9 moths to suspect something fishy knowing several ex employees when to a competitor? Trying to classify basic optics as a trade secret?

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: "a court-appointed "special master" will make sure the order is followed."

      In Waymo's defence, claiming ownership over the laws of optics is no worse than a certain other company claiming ownership of rounded corners.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Patently stupid, or patent stupidity...

    "To do so would be to allow monopolization of broad scientific or engineering concepts and principles."

    Alsup might be across the tech in cases he's hearing or has heard. However, he appears to be entirely ignorant of the basic operational principles of the USPTO.

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