Uber’s Contract With Notorious Employee Apparently Included Bad Behavior Clause
It would seem Waymo’s case against Uber is progressing at the latter’s expense. Anthony Levandowski, the former Uber employee at the center of the intellectual property theft, was apparently covered in writing for any legal action taken against for things like…Â fraud and stealing trade secrets.
The clause, which is literally outlined as “Pre-Signing Bad Acts” in the contract, was part of closed documents U.S. District Judge William Alsup previously assumed would be invaluable in progressing the case. Alphabet, which owns Waymo, accused Uber of being complicit inÂ Levandowski’s alleged theftÂ â€“ suggesting the ride-sharing rivalÂ intentionallyÂ hired him in the hopes he would bring inside information acquired during his tenure at Google. It was a notion Alsup also seemed more than willing to entertain.
â€œIt remains entirely possible that Uber knowingly left Levandowski free to keep that treasure trove of files as handy as he wished [provided he keep the data on hisÂ own personal devices], and that Uber willfully refused to tell Levandowski to return the treasure trove to its rightful owner,â€ the judge said back in May.Â
Uber’s contract with the engineer further bolsters that assumption, as it specifically promises to cover the costs of legal actions taken against him over information stored in his head from his previous position at Alphabet.
Jim Pooley, a lawyer at Orrick in Menlo Park, California, told The Washington Post and Bloomberg that he has never seen a written agreement that makes an overt and explicit reference to bad acts. â€œWhat Uber did was to leave the door open for Levandowski to use whatever he remembered of Waymoâ€™s trade secret information, so long as he didnâ€™t deliberately memorize it,â€ the lawyer explained.
Pooley views the documents as particularly damning, as it suggests Uber either knew or assumed their new hire had stolen trade secrets. However, the ride-sharing firm’s legal representation is claiming the “bad acts” clause was simply a case of Uber being extra careful.
â€œThis provision shows how serious we were about preventing any Waymo trade secrets from ever coming to Uber,â€ Matt Kallman, a spokesman for Uber, said in an emailed statement. â€œWe explicitly did not want any Otto employee using any such information, whatever its source. The law in California recognizes that while it is of course not possible to erase peopleâ€™s memories, that does not prevent employees from changing jobs, even between competitors. The law permits those employees to use their expertise to do their jobs.â€
via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
June 23, 2017 at 03:58PM