The Newest: Ex-Uber CEO noticed Google founder as a 'brother'

AP Top Stories February 7 A

Alphabet's self-driving vehicle unit, Waymo, is trying to prove that Uber improperly acquired, used, and benefited from eight "trade secrets" taken by Levandowski. When directly asked to reflect on the correspondence by Waymo's lawyers, Mr. Kalanick said he doesn't remember whether he was pressuring Uber's attorneys working on the Otto deal enough to warrant such analogies. Uber's legal team, on the other hand, portrayed the company's former leader to the jury as Google's friend-turned-competitor, who was not responsible for Levandowski's actions after he left his previous job and founded his own self-driving auto startup. The trial kicked off Monday and could help define the nascent yet competitive self-driving vehicle market.

Kalanick sought to dispel those accusations while frequently sipping from a bottle of water during Waymo's 45-minute grilling at the end of Tuesday's session. Waymo claimed it looked suspiciously like its own design.

Uber's defense is expected to argue that Google's lawsuit is an attempt to retaliate against Uber for poaching one of its talented engineers. Back in 2013, Google invested in Uber.

Kalanick previously said he told Levandowski that he didn't want that information inside Uber, according to documents filed by Uber. I was meeting with Larry Page. Kalanick said Page called him in October 2016, accusing him of taking Google's people and intellectual property, though he did not specifically mention Levandowski or the trade secrets disputed in the current lawsuit.

"I wanted to hire Anthony and he wanted to start a company so I tried to come up with a situation where he could feel like he started a company and I could feel like I hired him", said Kalanick, raising his voice a little for emphasis. Page then became upset that Uber hired autonomous tech engineers from Carnegie Mellon. Uber's defence paints a different picture: one of Google seeking revenge after its plucky competitor poached its top engineer and started a driverless auto programme.

Alphabet's self-driving auto unit Waymo sued Uber, a year ago saying that former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski downloaded more than 14,000 confidential documents in 2015 before leaving to found a self-driving startup that Uber snapped up in 2016.

In one text, Kalanick agreed with Levandowski's comment that "second place is first loser".

That's how Kalanick described being CEO of Uber. It's an image Google's attorneys accentuated, in a remarkable moment in court Wednesday, showing the jury a famous Michael Douglas speech from the movie "Wall Street".

The speech advocates for greedy behavior: "Greed, in all of its forms - greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind".

By contrast, Uber attempted to show that Kalanick didn't orchestrate the misappropriation of trade secrets in any way.

Much of Tuesday's questioning seemed to be setting the stage for heightened drama when Kalanick returns to the stand Wednesday. The Otto acquisition and Uber's self-driving auto development happened under Kalanick's direction. Kalanick testified that he couldn't recall using those specific words, but said it was possible he did.

Verhoeven walked Kalanick through various exhibits, ultimately driving to the point that the former CEO was unaware of some key details, including the fact that a due diligence report had not yet been completed. The report also found Google emails and deleted Google documents on Levandowski's personal computer. According to reporters at the first day of the trial, Uber is downplaying Levandowski's role within the company, and Uber lawyer Bill Carmody said that the company "regrets ever bringing Levandowski on board".

Essentially, the arrangement as Kalanick understood it, was that Google was nurturing Uber's development.

Levandowski's Otto cofounder Lior Ron also testified on Wednesday.

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