In a strategic legal move, by firing Anthony Levandowski from Uber Technologies, the company is aiming to protect itself from Waymo’s lawsuit which revolves arounds Levandowski illegally downloading 14,000 documents, Waymo’s trade secrets, before he left his job at Waymo.
In a strategic development which could have material bearing in Waymo case against Uber Technologies Inc, the ride sharing/hailing company disclosed, it had fired Anthony Levandowski, the tech whiz it had earlier hired to lead its self-driving unit following his failure to comply with a court order to hand over documents that are at the center of a legal dispute between the two companies.
Levandowski, one the most respected self-driving engineers in Silicon Valley, had been hired by Uber in the hope that he would help the company catch up in the race for self-driving technology.
The hiring has instead led to a court battle which has the potential to entirely ruin Uber itself.
Levandowski used to formerly work at Alphabet owned Waymo’s self-driving division.
Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber centres around the accusation that Levandowski had illegally stolen Waymo’s trade secrets by downloading more than 14,000 documents before he left his job at Waymo.
Although Levandowski is not a defendant, his actions however are at the heart of Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber.
Uber has now informed the federal court that it had fired Levandowski since he had not complied with the court’s order, to hand over the documents.
Significantly, Levandowski has declined any kind of cooperate and has chosen to exercise his Fifth Amendment rights.
Levandowski’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As per Uber’s letter, Levandowski has 20 days to comply with the court orders.
In April, Uber had named Eric Meyhofer as a replacement for Levandowski. Meyhofer will now head its Advanced Technologies Group said Uber’s spokeswoman via email.