Alphabet Drops 3 Patent Claims In Uber Infringement Case

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Alphabet has dropped three patent claims in the Uber infringement case which alleged Uber was using some of Waymo's technology in its self-driving car efforts. Though Alphabet is dropping these claims, it can still bring the claims forward in the future as it's not actually reversing its stance. Uber did however stop using the designs that Alphabet's claims were in reference to so Alphabet has decided it has no reason to pursue them. That said there is still one claim that remains and will continue going to trial.

While Alphabet still intends to go to trial over the fourth and final infringement claim, which centers around Waymo's LiDAR technology called Fuji, the dropping of the other three claims could turn out to be a good thing for Uber as it could use this in its defense against Alphabet. Uber maintains that Alphabet was aware of Levandowski's actions of downloading the files relating to the lidar technology that Uber was previously using, and it may see the dropping of the other three infringement claims as a testament to Alphabet's case not being as strong as it was initially believed to be.

According to an Uber spokesperson, Waymo has "overpromised and can't deliver," which it sees as a result of the retraction of the three claims. The spokesperson also noted that no evidence of any of the stolen files has been recovered and suggests that dropping the claims is an admittance that Waymo's LiDAR designs are different from the ones Uber was using. Uber also believes that the patent infringement lawsuits are just a way to slow down its own advancement efforts in the self-driving car industry. If Uber is able to strengthen its own case due to Alphabet's latest decision then it may end up in a better position than it has been in recently. Through the start of this case, Uber has been undergoing some big changes that are likely a direct result of the battle against Waymo and Alphabet, including the firing of Levandowski (which Uber denies any collusion with on the matter of using Waymo's LiDAR trade secrets) and the request from Uber board members for former CEO Travis Kalanick to step down.

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