This morning, Judge William Alsup ruled that the Waymo v. Uber trial would be delayed until December 4th. The trial had initially been expected to start with jury selection next Tuesday on October 10th. Ultimately this gives Waymo additional time to review new documents associated with the Stroz report in advance of the start of the trial.
Waymo has been pushing for the delay to account for the mountain of materials in need of review surrounding Stroz’s due diligence report. The report, which was published online last night, was commissioned to explore potential IP concerns around Uber’s acquisition of Otto.
During arguments today, Waymo’s legal team noted that the volume of documents related to the report is “shocking.” These are documents that Waymo is just getting its hands on and has not fully evaluated in advance of the start of the trial. Part of the team’s irritation is that it has allegedly asked for these documents to be sent over multiple times with no headway made.
Uber on the other hand has been cautious about letting pre-trial discovery drag on. Its legal team says that the majority of the documents Waymo wants to dig through have been secured in a storage facility since 2010. They assert that Waymo has already spent 4,450 hours reviewing materials and that the company is unlikely to find additional evidence in the old collection of documents.
Meanwhile Judge Alsup remains frustrated with both sides for presenting in “half truths.” Alsup said that despite the quality of the lawyers he has had to evaluate everything said. He spent significant time today evaluating the validity of statements made by both sides.
“I believe that Waymo has exaggerated the need for continuance and it’s not nearly as dire as what has been represented to me,” Judge Alsup asserted.
Despite his annoyance, he still decided to grant a continuance — a delay in the start of the trial. Jury selection will now occur on Nov 29th. The trial will run from December 4th until December 20th.
The delay did come with terms however. Judge Alsup’s new schedule is non negotiable and prevents new discovery absent stipulation or a overriding decision from Magistrate Judge Corley.
Over the coming weeks, Waymo will be looking to tie one of its trade secrets to Uber’s work. Waymo will be allowed to bring a motion to amend its list of nine trade secrets, alleged to have been stolen by Uber, up until October 23rd.
That list of nine trade secrets is said to be cemented barring an extreme discovery. If a major discovery is made and the list is allowed to be amended, Uber would be granted additional discovery.
Uber sent the following comment following the decision.
“The Court has made clear that Waymo’s case is not what they hoped, and that more time will not change the hard fact that their trade secrets never came to Uber. We’re ready to go to trial now, and will be ready after this very brief continuance.”