Two tech giants argued whether a clip from the 1987 movie Wall Street could be admissible in court on Tuesday during a bitter legal battle over whether Uber illegally obtained trade secrets from Google's self driving car division, Waymo.
Waymo and Uber began their fight nearly a year ago after Waymo alleged that Uber "cheated" to get ahead in the race to perfect its self driving car technology. The company alleges that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick collaborated with former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski to steal trade secrets upon his exit from the company to join Uber. Uber later fired Levandowski.
Waymo sought to play the movie clip in court when Kalanick took the stand claiming that it was relevant, since Levandowski had sent the clip to the former Uber co-founder in March 2016, according to the LA Times.
The judge who is overseeing the case said that he would wait until after Kalanick takes the stand as a witness to decide whether or not the work of fiction is relevant for the jury to see.
Levandowski told Kalanick that "This is the speech you need to give. Wink wink," while attaching the film clip and sending it to him in March 2016.
Uber alleges that Levandowski downloaded critical trade secrets in the giant dump of data the engineer downloaded before leaving Google.
The "greed is good" argument was just the latest row in trial that has transformed into part circus act since kicking off on Monday.
The trial marks the first time Kalanick has appeared in public since the former CEO's forced resignation last June.
In one set of meeting notes made public through discovery in the case, Kalanick allegedly wrote "Cheat codes. Find them. Use them.”
The trial “is about two competitors where one competitor decided they needed to win at all costs. Losing was not an option,” Waymo's lawyer said on Monday adding that, for Kalanick, “winning was more important than obeying the law."
Kalanick began his testimony on Tuesday afternoon by nervously chugging water and stalling for time, according to tweets by The Verge's Sarah Jeong. He was then grilled on his relationship with Levandowski and Levandowski's December 2015 visit to Uber before being forced to explain what a "jam session" was to the court.
"A jam sesh is if you get a bunch of interesting creative people in a room and eventually it becomes something interesting and innovative," Kalanick replied.
When Kalanick was then shown photos of a group meeting with Levandowski he said, "Yeah it appears we had a jam session."
"During this jam session you discussed how laser is the sauce, right?" a Waymo lawyer asked, referring to the proprietal laser-based LIDAR technology Uber and Waymo are arguing over. Kalanick essentially replied yes before downing his fourth water bottle.
Things have gotten so tense between the companies that a slew of lawyers has become involved in the case, billing thousands of hours. According to a report from The Verge, the courtroom was so packed with lawyers on Monday that there was almost no room for the press or public.
Testimony is expected to last for up to two weeks and in the end the case will be decided by a 10-person jury.