Uber, eye­ing ar­bi­tra­tion, cites Waymo’s 2016 claims

New Straits Times - - Business -

SAN FRANCISCO: Al­pha­bet Inc’s Waymo self-driv­ing unit sought to ar­bi­trate claims last year against a for­mer em­ployee at the cen­tre of its suit against Uber Tech­nolo­gies, court records showed, in what Uber said strength­ened its bid to get the case out of court and into ar­bi­tra­tion.

Waymo’s suit, filed last month, set in mo­tion what could be a long and ac­ri­mo­nious trade-se­crets bat­tle be­tween the two tech ri­vals. Both firms are vy­ing to be first to bring self-driv­ing cars to the masses.

But ar­bi­tra­tion, which is a pri­vate process to re­solve dis­putes, could keep the bat­tle out of the pub­lic eye.

Court doc­u­ments filed by Uber said Waymo sought ar­bi­tra­tion on Oc­to­ber 28 for two claims against its for­mer em­ployee, en­gi­neer An­thony Le­vandowski. Those claims in­volved al­le­ga­tions that Le­vandowski used con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion to re­cruit co-work­ers to his new ri­val com­pany, the court records showed.

Uber is seek­ing to get the high­pro­file case sent to ar­bi­tra­tion, ar­gu­ing that Waymo’s al­le­ga­tions against Uber were “in­ex­tri­ca­bly bound up” with Le­vandowski’s em­ploy­ment agree­ment with Waymo.

Uber said the rev­e­la­tion Waymo it­self sought ar­bi­tra­tion bol­stered its own case for it. Reuters

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