Last week, Uber’s legal team told Judge William Alsup that Waymo was seeking $2.6 billion for an allegedly stolen trade secret related to the company’s autonomous vehicle efforts. Over the weekend, Waymo filed a document with the court noting that the correct figure was actually $1.859 billion.
It’s not clear why this seemingly important detail was left uncorrected for nearly a week. The filing also includes some additional clarification around the way in which the damages figure was calculated.
Though Waymo is arguing that nine trade secrets were put in jeopardy by Anthony Levandowski, it is seeking a maximum of $1.8 billion in damages. That figure is the value that Waymo is attributing to a single trade secret — trade secret 25. The other eight secrets are being individually valued at less than $1.8 billion. Consequently, Waymo is capping the damages at the value of its most valuable compromised trade secret.
Waymo’s attorneys note that the $1.8 billion figure was calculated based on an estimate of “Uber’s unjust enrichment from Uber’s trade secret misappropriation.” Waymo continues that the damages are based on Uber’s own profitability forecasts of deploying autonomous vehicles into its ridesharing business.
This Wednesday is the final pre-trial conference before jury selection. However, the actual start date of the trial is still in question. Judge Alsup is set to decide whether the trial should begin on October 10 as currently scheduled or December 5, the date Waymo’s legal team requested. Waymo is pushing for the extension to dig through additional evidence. Meanwhile, Uber believes Waymo is stalling and would prefer to stick to the existing schedule.
The footnote clarifying the damages Waymo is seeking is noted in full below.
Two days ago, Uber’s lead counsel told the Court that Waymo is asking for $2.6 billion in damages for one trade secret. (Dkt. 1723, 9/20/17 Public Hrg. at 73:25-74:10.) That is false. Waymo is asking for $1.859 billion for Trade Secret 25 (not $2.6 billion) and less for the remaining trade secrets. Furthermore, Waymo’s numbers are not additive; if the jury finds that Defendants misappropriated every asserted trade secret, Waymo still only seeks $1.859 billion.