The battle between Waymo’s Alphabet and Uber is far from over, despite the former dropping three out of their four patent claims. In their defense, Waymo is saying that they are dropping the claims because it has been agreed upon that Uber will be abandoning the use of LiDAR, the autonomous driving technology in question.
In a statement, Uber has clarified that they are no longer using the technology and have no plans of using it in the near future, Waymo, however, is reserving their right to refile any of the dropped claims if necessary.
The lawsuit between Waymo and Uber over the alleged theft of trade secrets by Anthony Levandowski took a turn https://t.co/dik5RZwvVf
— Select All (@selectall) July 10, 2017
Waymo, Google’s self-driving project that now runs under its own business patent Alphabet, stands by their decision of dropping three out of the four patent infringements in order to streamline their defense and strengthen their case.
The heated court battle stems from the alleged theft of over 14,000 files by then Uber employee Anthony Levandowski shortly after leaving Waymo. Levandowski supposedly used the information he obtained to build his own autonomous trucking company, Otto, which was later purchased by Uber for $680,000,000 in stock.
Uber is firm in saying that they had no prior knowledge that the data on which Otto was based was stolen from the Waymo server. Levandowski may face criminal charges for the alleged theft of data but has refused to testify, invoking his right against self-incrimination.
so uber is kinda concerned that the fact that anthony levandowski is pleading the 5th will be taken negatively pic.twitter.com/FN0OWMwMN7
— Priya Anand (@Priyasideas) July 7, 2017
Without Levandowski’s testimony, it may seem like Uber is at a loss for defense, but the company remains confident that the cases filed against them lacks evidence and that the claims are not rooted in facts.
Waymo insists that the focus of the lawsuit does not solely rely on the patent infringement but rather the trade secrets which then Waymo engineer Levandowski stole from their server.
Despite recommendations by Judge William Alsup to drop the entire case, Waymo is persistent in pursuing the claims they made against Uber. The trial date is scheduled in October of this year.