California
31 May 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Uber fires Levandowski


Uber has fired Anthony Levandowski, Otto founder, ex-Waymo employee and the man at the centre of the trade secret dispute between Alphabet and Uber.

In its letter of termination, Uber said Levandowksi had “not complied” with requests for full cooperation in the ongoing litigation.

An earlier letter had expressly stated that failure to comply with these requests would result in “adverse employment action, including the possible termination of your employment at Uber”.

Uber also voiced its own suspicions that Levandowski had broken its employment agreement, which warrants employees to return or destroy all property and confidential information belonging to prior employers.

The trade secret dispute between the two companies reached a head earlier this month when Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California recommended the case for criminal investigation.

Judge Alsup said the strength of evidence against Levandowksi was the strongest he’d seen in 42 years.

Waymo accused Levandowksi of stealing more than 14,000 confidential files before leaving to start his own company, Otto.

Otto was then acquired by Uber, which appointed Levandowski as its head of self-driving technology.

Levandowksi invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions about the case.

More Patents news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Red Hat expands Patent Promise
22 September 2017 | Raleigh | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Open-source software provider Red Hat has revised its Patent Promise, which was initially intended to discourage patent aggression against free and open-source software
ITC investigations double in 2016
28 July 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Section 337 investigations instituted at the US International Trade Commission nearly doubled in 2016, according to the ITC’s Year In Trade figures
USPTO presents patent subject matter eligibility viewpoints
26 July 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a new report detailing public viewpoints on the appropriate boundaries of patent-eligible subject matter
Congressmen Issa and Goodlatte hit out at Judge Gilstrap
20 July 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Mark Dugdale
Two members of the House judiciary committee have criticised Judge Rodney Gilstrap for his interpretation of TC Heartland v Kraft Foods
European Commission to investigate Qualcomm
13 June 2017 | Brussels | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Qualcomm is under investigation over competition concerns about its proposed acquisition of semiconductor rival NXP
Michelle Lee resigns as USPTO director
07 June 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Michelle Lee notified staff that she would be standing down from her post, but offered no reason for her sudden departure
Uber fires Levandowski
31 May 2017 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Uber has fired key executive Anthony Levandowski after he failed to cooperate in a trade secret dispute with Alphabet’s Waymo