Uber secretly took legal action in arbitration to declare Google's claims against it as 'meritless'

Uber has followed through on its threat to take its self-driving court case into arbitration.

The ride-hailing company wants a “declaratory judgment that Waymo’s claims that it misappropriated trade secrets and violated UCL are meritless,” according to a newly-unsealed court filing on Monday.

In the filing, which was dated March 27, Uber’s lawyer Arturo Gonz├ílez said he planned to initiate arbitration proceedings the following week. Uber confirmed that it initiated arbitration proceedings against Waymo last week.

Previously, Uber has argued that since Waymo’s argument centres around the action of its former employee, Anthony Levandowski, it should be subject to the arbitration agreement as part of his employment contract.

In February, Waymo, the self-driving company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, sued Uber, claiming that Levandowski stole vital Lidar technology shortly before starting his own self-driving company (which Uber later acquired). The trade secrets case is shaping up to be one of the most significant and closely-watched battles in Silicon Valley in years, pitting two of the world’s most powerful companies, and former partners, against each other.

By compelling the case to arbitration, the fight over trade secrets would be solved by an arbitrator and not as part of the public courts.

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