Uber might fire Anthony Levandowski if he refuses to comply with the court’s order

By : |May 20, 2017 0

Marking a significant shift in the most talked-about lawsuit in the self-driving industry, Uber has asked Anthony Levandowski to waive his Fifth Amendment rights or else, he will lose his job at Uber. That sounds nothing less than a threat!

Anthony Levandowski is the focal point of the lawsuit filed by Alphabet for stealing 14,000 confidential documents. Alphabet and Waymo have accused Uber and Otto of stealing Waymo’s trade secrets and intellectual property and of infringing on patents related to lidar, a technology that autonomous vehicles use to “see.”

However, to protect himself, Levandowski invoked his Fifth Amendment rights earlier this year.

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Now, Uber’s general counsel Salle Yoo is asking him to waive those rights and comply with the court’s order to turn over his personal device as well as any downloaded materials. “We understand that this letter requires you to turn over information wherever located, including but not limited to, your personal devices, and to waive any Fifth Amendment protection you may have,” Uber’s general counsel, Salle Yoo, wrote in a letter on Monday that was made public in a court filing Thursday. “While we have respected your personal liberties, it is our view that the Court’s Order requires us to make these demands of you.”

The letter further read, “If you do not agree to comply with all of the requirements set forth herein, or if you fail to comply in a material manner, then Uber will take adverse employment action against you, which may include termination of your employment and such termination would be for Cause.”

CIOL Uber might fire Anthony Levandowski if he refuses to comply with the court’s order

This letter has surprised many, for obvious reasons. Levandowski shares an excellent working relationship with the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick. On the other hand, the court has asked Uber to “exercise the full extent of [its] corporate, employment, contractual, and other authority to cause them to return the downloaded materials and all copies, excerpts, and summaries thereof to Waymo.”

Levandowski has already stepped down from his responsibilities as head of self-driving at Uber.

Levandowski left Waymo in January 2016 and started Otto, a self-driving truck startup that Uber bought for $680 million in August.

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