In Uber Fights to Keep Google Self-Driving Car Lawsuit From Going to Trial, Alan Ohsnman and Matt Drange, at Forbes, report on another Uber dispute where an arbitration provision might play a part. This case involves a dispute between Uber and Waymo (owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc.) in which Waymo claims that an ex-employee committed theft before leaving Google to join Uber.
According to the article, at the hearing Uber’s attorneys argued that because Uber claims involved the actions of an ex-employee, the ex-employee’s employment contract was involved and, thus, was covered by that contract’s arbitration provision. On the other hand, continues the article, Waymo argued that the dispute involved a separate matter not related to the employment contract.
The article concludes by noting that “Judge William Alsup picked up on the irony as well, telling Waymo’s [attorney] that Google “wants to force everyone into arbitration, and sets the broadest arbitration agreements you can. And now… you’re scrambling” to show why that shouldn’t be the case [here].”
Update (5/12): Courthouse News Service reports that Judge Alsup has ruled that Uber “must face a civil trial on accusations of filching driverless car technology from Google spinoff Waymo, and asked federal prosecutors to consider launching a criminal investigation.” Advancing Waymo’s Case, Judge Invites US Probe of Uber