Alphabet thinks Uber should pay $2.6 billion for allegedly stealing a single trade secret.
Alphabet is in court with Uber today to convince a judge to delay the Oct. 10 trial in its self-driving lawsuit against the ride-hail company. But during the hearing, an Uber attorney said that Alphabet is seeking $2.6 billion in damages for just one of the nine trade secrets the company is claiming a former Uber executive stole.
Before today’s hearing, the amount of damages Alphabet wanted a court to award them was not public and had been redacted from court filings.
In its opposition to Alphabet’s request for a trial delay, Uber claims Alphabet is simply asking for a “do-over” because its allegations that an executive stole files and brought them to Uber has weakened.
Alphabet is suing Uber for trade secret misappropriation, alleging one of its former executives, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded 14,000 files and took them to Uber after it acquired his self-driving startup Otto. Uber, for its part, vehemently denies that any of the files made it to the company’s servers.
In that opposition, Uber calls Alphabet’s damages claims “inflated” and “based entirely on speculative future profits and cost savings in a nascent market.”
The damages Alphabet is seeking for each of the nine trade secrets vary and have been redacted within the document. So there’s still no indication of which trade secret claim Alphabet is seeking $2.6 billion for, nor what amount the company is asking for the other eight trade secrets.
However, this doesn’t mean Alphabet will be awarded $2.6 billion plus the other damages if the company wins on these claims. Instead, the judge will award them the maximum damage the company was asking for. (So, if $2.6 billion is the highest amount then Alphabet will only receive $2.6 billion.)
“As explained in that motion, Mr. Wagner calculates those astronomical figures using a methodology that is not reliable, inserting variables that he neither derived nor tested, and making assumptions that no reasonable expert would make,” Uber’s opposition filed on Monday reads.
Alphabet and Uber declined to comment.
Judge William Alsup, who is presiding over this case, declined to rule on whether he will delay the trial and will instead decide this at an Oct. 3 hearing.