from the fly-on-the-wall dept.
Unsealed court filings in the Waymo vs. Uber case include texts between former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Anthony Levandowski, the engineer accused of stealing secrets from Waymo/Google:
On March 19, 2016, before Uber acquired Otto, Levandowski and Kalanick exchanged messages catching up on their recent "jam" session. The pair were apparently trying to prod an engineer, whose name is redacted in the filings.
"Internet, electricity, self driving cars and key things will always find a way," Levandowski texted Kalanick, linking to a YouTube clip from the 1987 movie "Wall Street." In the clip, the main character gives a famous speech of why "greed is good." "Here's the speech you need to give ;-)."
Kalanick briefly updated Levandowski on Uber's food delivery business, then wrote, "The way you keep China in check is showing up when they ask every once in a while."
But Uber was losing $1 billion a year in China, and by August, Uber sold its Chinese business to rival Didi Chuxing.
Kalanick was also eager to partner with Google as it sought to enter into the ride-hailing market, and dismissive of Tesla's autonomous mode safety claims.
The best exchanges:
9/19/2016 Levandowski: We're going to take over the world
9/19/2016 Levandowski: One robot at a time
10/7/2016 Kalanick: Down to hang this eve and mastermind some shit
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Uber's attempt to move Waymo's trade secrets lawsuit out of an appeals court and to an arbitrator has not succeeded:
Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo can proceed with a planned October trial over claims Uber Technologies Inc. stole trade secrets for self-driving vehicles after a U.S. appeals court declined to punt the case to an arbitrator and rejected an effort to keep Waymo from seeing critical evidence.
Uber had argued the dispute should be considered in secret before an arbitrator because the heart of Waymo's allegations are related to the actions of engineer Anthony Levandowski, a former employee of both companies. Uber's appeal was rejected Wednesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, as was Levandowski's request that Waymo not be allowed to see a report by a cyberforensics firm that looked into Uber's purchase of his company, Otto LLC.
Levandowski's employment contract with Waymo included a broad provision that any disputes would go before an arbitrator. Waymo never sued Levandowski; instead the question of whether he violated that contract is before an arbitrator, with a hearing scheduled for April. A three-judge appeals court panel said that requirement didn't extend to Uber. Waymo pledged not to rely on the Levandowski employment contract in its case, though Uber argued that wasn't a realistic promise.
Also at Reuters.
Previously: Waymo Drops Three of Four Patent Claims Against Uber
Uber's Former CEO Travis and Google Co-Founder Both Face Deposition in Trade Secrets Case
Text Messages Between Uber's Travis Kalanick and Anthony Levandowski Released