After months of contentious discovery, the high-profile trade secrets dispute between Uber and Waymo was scheduled to go to trial December 4th. That hasn’t happened. Six days before trial, previously undisclosed documents from an ex-Uber employee were revealed—shaking a lawsuit that has already seen more than its fair share of unusual twists and turns.
Those documents—a resignation letter from former Uber global security officer Richard Jacobs, a demand letter from his attorney, and a subsequent settlement agreement—involve accusations that Uber engaged in an elaborate scheme to illicitly gather information on competitors, including Waymo. That scheme also allegedly included strategies meant to avoid a paper trail that could be discovered in later litigation—strategies such as the use of unattributable computer servers, ephemeral messaging services that would not retain electronic records, and “legal training around the use of attorney-client privilege markings on written materials.”