Former Waymo Engineer’s Civil Trade Secret Case Referred for Federal Prosecution

The high profile case of Anthony Levandowski, a Silicon Valley engineer, demonstrates the federal government’s goal to prosecute “priority trade secret theft cases.” Levandowski worked with Google’s self-driving technology company Waymo for seven years. When he left, he reportedly downloaded 14,000 documents related to the secret technology the company had developed. He then launched his own self-driving car company which Uber ultimately bought. The civil trial was referred for criminal prosecution by Judge Alsup of the Northern District of California. Few trade secret cases are prosecuted at the federal level because prosecutors must “prove a high level of intent and knowledge.” Find out more about this case and how its trickle-down effect may affect other trade secret cases here.