The highly-anticipated demand letter written on behalf of a former Uber employee, which has become central to the unfolding drama that is the Waymo v. Uber trade secrets lawsuit, was publicly released on Friday afternoon.
As previewed in earlier court hearings, the “Jacobs Letter” outlines in detailed terms the questionable and possibly illegal behavior that former Uber security official Richard Jacobs and his former colleagues engaged in during his 11-month tenure at the company.
This letter, which was only recently shared with lawyers involved in the lawsuit and the judge overseeing the case, ultimately led to federal prosecutors opening a criminal investigation into Uber, which is still ongoing.
Waymo v. Uber began back in February, when Waymo sued Uberand accused one of its own former employees of stealing 14,000 files shortly before he left Waymo. The former employee, Anthony Levandowski, went on to found a company that was quickly acquired by Uber. Levandowski refused to comply with his employer’s demands during the course of this case and has since been fired. Uber has denied that it benefited in any way from Levandowski’s actions.
The outcome of the case will likely determine which company will end up ahead in the cutthroat and rapidly-growing autonomous vehicle sector.
Among other explosive claims, the Jacobs Letter specifically says that two named high-level Uber employees, including Craig Clark, a since-fired Uber lawyer and Mat Henley, who still works at Uber and recently testified in court, orchestrated this scheme.
The men “led Uber’s efforts to evade current and future discovery requests, court orders, and government investigations in violation of state and federal law as well as ethical rules governing the legal profession. Clark devised training and provided advice intended to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation of several ongoing lawsuits against Uber and in relation to or contemplation of further matters within the jurisdiction of the United States.”