Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc. et al

Filing 1051

ORDER by Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley granting in part and denying in part #1032 Defendants Uber Technologies Inc.'s and Ottomotto LLC's Motion to Compel Production of Documents. (ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/31/2017)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 WAYMO LLC, Plaintiff, 7 UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC., et al., Re: Dkt. No. 1032 Defendants. 10 In this trade secret misappropriation action Waymo seeks monetary damages in addition to 11 United States District Court Northern District of California ORDER RE: UBER’S MOTION TO COMPEL DAMAGES DISCOVERY v. 8 9 Case No.17-cv-00939-WHA (JSC) 12 injunctive relief. Uber moves to compel additional documents regarding Waymo’s damages 13 claim. 14 A. Waymo’s Financial Viability (RFP 61, 62, 93) 15 RFP 61 seeks documents “relating to Waymo’s financial viability, including but not 16 limited to internal business plans, estimates, and future projections at Waymo or Project 17 Chauffeur.” RFP 62 seeks documents “relating to Waymo’s performance, including but 18 not limited to the development of and progress assessment for any schedules and milestones at 19 Waymo LLC or Project Chauffeur.” And RFP 93 seeks documents “relating to Waymo’s business 20 plans, strategic plans, operating plans, marketing plans, financial plans, sales plans, and 21 investment plans for its ride-sharing business, including projections for revenue generation and 22 profitability.” 23 Waymo has produced some documents responsive to these requests. Uber contends the 24 production is inadequate because Waymo has (1) refused to produce responsive emails, (2) refused 25 to produce responsive documents that exist at Google or Alphabet, and (3) refused to produce 26 documents responsive to RFP 93 other than those shared with executives. 27 28 While responsive emails may have some relevant information, Uber has failed to articulate search parameters that will not result in thousands of unresponsive emails; that is, that make the 1 likely value from what is discovered by the search worthwhile. However, as a compromise Uber 2 suggests that Waymo produce emails discussing the documents that Waymo did produce. The 3 Court agrees. Waymo shall search for and produce emails which discuss or attach the documents 4 responsive to these requests that Waymo has already produced. 5 Waymo has not articulated any reasonable grounds for not producing non-duplicative 6 responsive documents that exist at Alphabet or Google other than it believes there will not be 7 many. But a belief is not the same as conducting a search and determining if there are responsive 8 documents. Waymo shall perform a search at Alphabet and Google for responsive documents; 9 however, it does not need to search for emails discussing these to-be-produced documents, if any. While such emails might include responsive documents, Uber is not entitled to every piece of 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 relevant evidence. A line must be drawn. 12 Finally Waymo suggests that Uber agreed that in response to Request No. 93 it would 13 accept responsive documents shared with executives. However, the attached emails do not reflect 14 such an agreement. Request No. 93 is highly relevant to Waymo’s damages claim which, given 15 the nascent self-driving car industry, is anything but straight forward. And Waymo has not 16 offered any evidence that producing all responsive documents would be burdensome and 17 disproportionate to the needs of the case. Waymo’s insistence that responsive documents should 18 be limited to those “sufficient to show” is not acceptable. Such an approach allows Waymo to 19 unilaterally decide what documents are sufficient to show its business prospects, and would allow 20 it to cherry pick those that support its damages claim while withhold those that do not. Waymo 21 shall produce all non-duplicative responsive documents, but again need not search for emails 22 discussing these to-be-produced documents. 23 B. Waymo’s Analysis of the Ridesharing Market (RFP 90, 91, 92, and 94) 24 Request No. 90 seeks documents “relating Waymo’s estimates of the size of the ride- 25 sharing market in the United States for each of the last six years.” Request No. 91 makes the same 26 request, but for the “next six years.” Request No. 92 seeks documents “relating to Waymo’s 27 forecasts regarding the number of Waymo’s ride-sharing vehicles in the United States, for each of 28 the next six years—broken out by U.S. city and on a quarterly basis.” And Request No. 94 seeks 2 1 all documents “relating to Waymo’s analysis of any barriers to entry in the ride-sharing 2 market and the status of any attempts by Waymo to overcome any such barriers, including 3 investments and infrastructure needed.” 4 These documents are directly relevant to Waymo’s damages claim and Waymo does not 5 claim otherwise. Instead, it appears to suggest that during the parties’ meet and confer Uber 6 agreed to accept Waymo documents discussing Uber’s business prospects and waive any request 7 for Waymo documents discussing Waymo’s forecasts for its own business. Again, the parties’ 8 emails do not reflect such an agreement. It is unclear whether Waymo is withholding responsive 9 documents other than emails. Waymo shall produce emails which discuss or attach the documents Waymo has already produced responsive to these requests. It shall also produce any additional 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 responsive documents, whether located at Waymo, Alphabet or Google, but it does not need to 12 produce emails discussing or attaching these newly-produced documents absent Uber’s showing 13 of a particular need related to a specific document. CONCLUSION 14 15 Uber’s motion to compel is granted in part and denied in part as explained above. Given 16 the inherently speculative nature of Waymo’s damages claim in light of the nascent status of its 17 self-driving vehicle program more discovery is required than in the run-of-the-mill damages case. 18 However, more discovery does not mean unlimited discovery; the Court has attempted to draw a 19 reasonable line. Waymo shall produce the additional responsive documents on or before August 20 10, 2017 and shall advise Uber of how it is conducting its additional search on or before August 4, 21 2017. Any objections to this Order shall be filed with the district court on or before Thursday, 22 August 3, 2017. This Order is not stayed. 23 This Order disposes of Docket No. 1032. 24 IT IS SO ORDERED. 25 Dated: July 31, 2017 26 JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge 27 28 3

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