SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on the court fight between Google spin-off Waymo and Uber (all times local):
The leader of Google’s self-driving car spinoff Waymo says one of the company’s former top engineers became “an enemy” after he left to found a startup that he later sold to Uber.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik expressed his disdain for former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski Monday during court testimony. His company sued Uber almost a year ago, alleging that Uber is building a fleet of self-driving cars with technology that Levandowski stole from Waymo.
Uber bought Levandowski’s startup, Otto, and appointed him the head of its self-driving car division a few months after Levandowski left Google in January 2016.
Krafcik testified that he continued to text with Levandowski after he left Google because “he had gone from someone I had considered a friend to someone I considered an enemy. I needed to understand what he was doing.”
Levandowski is expected to testify later in the trial.
Lawyers for Google spin-off Waymo are depicting Uber as a conniving company that relied on stolen trade secrets to catch up in the race to build self-driving cars. Uber’s attorneys are brushing off the allegations as trumped-up claims designed to thwart a rival.
The dueling arguments were presented Monday in the opening statements of a high-profile court fight between the two companies.
Waymo sued Uber nearly a year ago, charging it with building a fleet of self-driving cars with technology stolen by former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski, who joined Uber in 2016.
Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven likens Uber and its former CEO, Travis Kalanick, to Rosie Ruiz, a runner who cheated to win the women’s Boston Marathon in 1980.
Uber lawyer William Carmody highlights internal documents showing that Google hoped to use its self-driving cars to lure business away from Uber.
11 a.m. Sunday
A Google-bred pioneer in self-driving cars and Uber’s beleaguered ride-hailing service are colliding in a courtroom showdown revolving around allegations of deceit, betrayal, espionage and a high-tech heist that tore apart one-time allies.
The trial opening Monday in San Francisco federal court comes nearly a year after Google spin-off Waymo accused Uber of ripping off its self-driving car technology after paying $680 million for a startup run by a former Google engineer.
Google was also an early investor in Uber, a relationship that later soured. Google’s parent company Alphabet also owns Waymo.
The courtroom drama features an intriguing cast of characters, including former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Google co-founder Larry Page.
The civil case already triggered an ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.