The former Google employee accused of stealing company secrets is taking the Fifth.
Anthony Levandowski, the brain behind Google’s self driving car unit Waymo, is exercising his Fifth Amendment rights in the lawsuit accusing him of stealing elements of its lidar laser sensor technology to take with him to start Otto, a self-driving transport company now owned by Uber.
One of Levandowski’s attorneys, according to court transcripts released Thursday, said the former Google employee would be “broadly asserting his Fifth Amendment rights” because there was “potential for criminal action” in the case, The New York Times is reporting.
Uber’s associate general counsel Angela Padilla, in a statement, said the ride-sharing firm would publicly lay out its case on April 7.
“We are very confident that Waymo’s claims against Uber are baseless and that Anthony Levandowski has not used any files from Google in his work with Otto or Uber,” Padilla said.
Waymo, as part of its lawsuit, is accusing Levandowski of downloading 14,000 “confidential and proprietary design” files relating to the company’s “lidar and circuit board” before resigning as the technical lead on Alphabet’s self-driving car division to co-found Otto with Lior Ron, former product lead of Google Maps; former Google robotics program lead Claire Delaunay and Don Burnette, a former Google software engineer.
Waymo, in a blog post, alleged Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software on his company-issued laptop.
Levandowski, who left Google’s self-driving car unit to start Otto, said earlier this month that there was a simple explanation for downloading Waymo’s files: he wanted to work from home.
According to a Bloomberg report, Levandowski, during a company meeting, described Uber’s lidar technology as “clean,” meaning it was not stolen from Waymo.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.
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