Cab hailing company Uber has said that it never told the executive of its self-driving car project to download files from his former employer, Alphabetâ€™s Waymo unit, according to a court filing in a contentious trade secret lawsuit, reports Reuters. This comes after Uber fired the executive.
Alphabet's Waymo claimed in a lawsuit earlier this year that Anthony Levandowski downloaded over 14,000 confidential files before leaving to set up a self-driving truck company, which Uber acquired soon after.
While the fired employee is not a defendant in the case, his actions, and what Uber executives knew about them, are at the center of Waymo's lawsuit.
Reuters reports that Uber denies it used any of Waymo's trade secrets. A trial is scheduled for October.
In a court filing on Wednesday, Uber said Levandowski's downloads had nothing to do with his future employment at Uber.
"This is consistent with the complete lack of evidence that such files exist at, or have ever been used by, Uber," the company said.
At one point while Uber was negotiating to buy Levandowski's company, Levandowski told Uber executives including former CEO Travis Kalanick that he found five discs in his home that contained Google information, according to the Reuters report.
Uber said that it believes Levandowski stole those files to ensure he got the $120 million bonus he expected as payment from Waymo. But there are been no explanation on how downloading those files would have helped Levandowski accomplish that objective.
Uber claims that Kalanick was clear that the company did not want any such information and that Levandowski claimed to have destroyed those discs.
In a separate court filing, Waymo said the incident with the discs proved that Uber executives knew he possessed Google information before he came to Uber.
Waymo in its filing said that Uber never took any steps to ensure Levandowski did not use his â€˜treature trove of filesâ€™ even after knowing that he has Waymo materials in his possession.