University of Michigan

Judge tells Uber to return Waymo files taken by engineer

A federal judge's order that bars Uber from using technology taken by a star engineer before he left Waymo is bad news for Uber and likely will hurt the ride-hailing company's own self-driving research, according to legal experts.

The ruling by District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco Monday was mainly a victory for Waymo, the autonomous car unit spun off from Google.

Waymo showed "compelling evidence" that a former Waymo engineer named Anthony Levandowski downloaded thousands of confidential files before leaving the company, the order said. Levandowski set up his own firms, which then were sold to Uber for $680 million. Evidence showed that Levandowski and...

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