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Waymo LLC v. Uber Techs., Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

October 30, 2017, Decided; November 2, 2017, Filed

No. C 17-00939 WHA

Opinion

ORDER RE MOTIONS FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND MOTION TO STRIKE ASSERTED TRADE SECRET NUMBER 96

(UNDER SEAL)

INTRODUCTION

In this action for trade secret misappropriation, all parties move for partial summary judgment on select issues. Plaintiff's motion is Granted in part and Denied in part. Defendants' motion is also Granted in part and Denied in part. Defendants' motions to strike and for summary judgment as to asserted trade secret number 96 are Granted.

STATEMENT

The factual background of this action has been detailed in a prior order. In brief, plaintiff Waymo LLC sued defendants Uber Technologies, Inc., Ottomotto LLC (collectively, "Uber"), and Otto Trucking LLC for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets concerning Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology that helps self-driving cars "see" their surroundings. The centerpiece of Waymo's case is its evidence that its former star engineer, non-party Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 confidential files from Waymo immediately before leaving his employment there to start Ottomotto and Otto Trucking (collectively, "Otto"). Uber then acquired Ottomotto and hired Levandowski [*2]  as the head of its self-driving car efforts (Dkt. No. 426).1

By agreement of both sides, this action was set for a jury trial on October 10. After the belated production of non-party Stroz Friedberg's due diligence report on the Otto acquisition, however, Waymo successfully moved to continue the trial date to December 4 (Dkt. No. 1954).

Waymo moves for partial summary judgment on certain affirmative defenses (Dkt. No. 1418). Uber moves for partial summary judgment that Waymo's asserted trade secret number nine is not a trade secret, and Otto Trucking moves for summary judgment that it has not misappropriated any alleged Waymo trade secret (Dkt. No. 1423). All defendants also move for partial summary judgment on Waymo's asserted trade secret number 96 on multiple grounds, including that it was inadequately disclosed (Dkt. Nos. 1514, 1518). The latter motion also represents the final piece of defendants' prior motion to strike certain trade secret claims (Dkt. Nos. 1108, 1129), which has already been denied as to all challenged claims except asserted trade secret number 96 (see Dkt. No. 1260 at 108:5-15, 110:13-111:3, 133:24-134:13).2

This order follows full briefing and oral argument.

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182197 *; 2017 WL 5000352

WAYMO LLC, Plaintiff, v. UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC.; OTTOMOTTO LLC; and OTTO TRUCKING LLC, Defendants.

Subsequent History: As Amended November 14, 2017.

Prior History: Waymo LLC v. Uber Techs., Inc., 319 F.R.D. 284, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54662 (N.D. Cal., Apr. 10, 2017)

CORE TERMS

trade secret, Trucking, misappropriation, summary judgment, defendants', surfaces, schematic, lenses, disclosure, material fact, comprising, optical, patent, genuine dispute, trade secret information, supplemental, diodes, unclean hands, particularity, acquisition, encompassed, plurality, contends, block, laser, partial summary judgment, vicarious liability, equitable, mitigate, overlap