Waymo requested the delay on Monday so it could look into whether or not Uber had withheld evidence in the case. Waymo is now asking for further information from Uber and an investigation into the contents of Jacobs's letter, Gizmodo reports. Jacobs said the surveillance occurred overseas. According to Law360, a California judge ruled in Waymo's favor on Tuesday after Waymo accused Uber of hiding evidence that was discovered by federal prosecutors.
US District Judge William Alsup judge, who is presiding over Waymo's trade secret theft lawsuit against Uber, announced today that the trial, which was set to begin next week, will be delayed as the court tries to determine whether Uber withheld crucial evidence.
Waymo sued Uber in February, accusing the company of stealing secretive self-driving vehicle technology. Under questioning by Uber lawyers, he described the importance of using secure communications for legitimate reasons, including ensuring the safety of workers overseas.
Jacobs said that Uber reached a $4.5 million settlement, including a consulting contract, after he was sacked.
The probe under way at the U.S. Justice Department centers on a 37-page letter that described allegations made by Richard Jacobs, Uber's former manager of global intelligence.
Court filings indicate a letter from Jacobs' attorney to Uber counsel Angela Padilla details efforts to steal trade secrets from competitors.
The trial was originally scheduled for December 4. "If even half of what's in that letter is true, it would be a huge injustice to force Waymo to go to trial and not be able to prove the things said in that letter".
Waymo is alleging that Uber has been building its own fleet of self-driving cars by using trade secrets taken by former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski.
In a statement defending itself, Uber pointed to Jacobs' testimony the he wasn't aware of the company stealing any of Waymo's trade secrets.
A consortium led by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp this week is launching a multi-billion dollar tender offer for Uber shares, a deal that would bring the ride services company a well regarded, deep-pocketed investor. In a scandal that broke last week, the company tried to cover up a 2016 data breach involving millions of its customers and drivers.