TU Law alumnus Bill Carmody and his team from Susman Godfrey have been brought on by Uber Technologies to join its already large trial team in an intellectual property case against Waymo over self-driving car technology.
Waymo, the driverless car unit of Alphabet, sued Uber in February alleging that the ride-hailing giant was ripping off its technology in the race to get ahead in developing a LiDAR device—the laser-based navigation system for driverless vehicles.
Much of the case has centered around allegations that a former Waymo engineer, Anthony Levandowski, made off with 14,000 files before leaving the company and later joining Uber as a senior engineer through an acquisition deal. But Uber says it never saw any of those files, and that Waymo hasn’t proven Uber is using any of Waymo’s protected trade secrets.
“Several of Waymo’s alleged trade secrets should be knocked out by summary judgment,” wrote Carmody in the filing, known as a précis, “but based on the court’s guidance, Uber requests permission to file a motion for summary judgment on only two issues.” The five-page filing, which is heavily redacted, claims the code-named “Fuji” device that Uber has developed is different in key ways from Waymo’s claimed patent. It also says that Waymo’s own engineers have acknowledged that concepts claimed in the trade secret—referred to as “TS9”—are “generally known” and therefore are not protectable under the law.
Carmody has squared off before against the lawyer leading the case for Waymo, Charles Verhoeven of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. The two went head-to-head in a trial over satellite technology, in a case that ultimately settled for $100 million—but not before Carmody wiped out a $283 million verdict for Verhoeven’s client in 2014.
Carmody is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who tries bet-the-company cases for plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts throughout the country. He is a permanent member of Susman Godfrey’s Executive Committee and heads its New York office. Carmody is perennially listed in the Lawdragon 500, the guide to America’s leading 500 lawyers. He’s ranked in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers and included in Benchmark’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers. His peers have voted him both a “New York Super Lawyer” and a “Texas Super Lawyer” (Thomas Reuters, New York: 2008 – 2016, Texas: 2003 – 2006). Carmody is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America in five categories, including Bet-the-Company Litigation.