Uber’s Legal Woes Worsen As Judge Bars Top Engineer From Working On Self-Driving Car Tech


Publish Date:
May 15, 2017
  • Ohnsman, Alan,
  • Matt Drange
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A federal judge has ordered Uber to return documents stolen from Google and set strict limits on the engineer who took them from working on Uber’s driverless vehicle program.

The preliminary injunction is the latest blow to Uber in its legal battle with Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo over trade secrets theft, but it fell short of an outright ban on Uber’s work on self-driving cars.

“I was surprised an injunction was granted at all, given the main thing Waymo was asking was to have Levandowski removed [from Uber’s autonomous car program],” said Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, a Stanford law school professor who studies intellectual property disputes. That Alsup referred the case to the Justice Department is highly unusual, Larrimore Ouellette continued, adding that the judge was “clearly troubled” by Levandowski’s actions.

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