Waymo has dropped three of the four patent claims against Uber, as it tries to narrow the case against Uber before the October court date.
The lawsuit centers on Anthony Levandowski, an ex-Google exec who allegedly stole 14,000 confidential documents when he left the company to start Otto, which was then sold to Uber. Levandowski was fired from Uber last month.
Waymo claims that Uber knew Levandowski had stolen documents before acquiring it.
Uber’s new Lidar system supposedly doesn’t infringe on three of the four patent claims, so Waymo dropped them, reports TechCrunch. U.S. District Judge William Alsup also asked Waymo to reduce the amount of trade secrets from 100 to 10 and for both parties to simplify the case for the jury.
“Waymo’s retreat on three of their four patent claims is yet another sign that they have overpromised and can’t deliver. Not only have they uncovered zero evidence of any of the 14,000 files in question coming to Uber, they now admit that Uber’s LiDAR design is actually very different than theirs,” said an Uber spokesperson.
The judge granted Uber the ability to depose Alphabet CEO, Larry Page, on why the company decided not to collaborate on autonomous cars. Alphabet was one of the first major investors in Uber, but as the two companies started to align more, the relationship severed.
“While Uber has decided it is now advantageous to disavow him, the truth is Uber supported Levandowski’s 5th Amendment claims to avoid self-incrimination well into this litigation and continues to obstruct the production of key documents every step of the way,” said a spokesperson for Waymo.
“We initiated legal action because we came across evidence showing stolen Waymo files made their way into Uber’s technology, and despite Uber’s attempt to distract with constantly changing storylines, Waymo has continued to build its case with more evidence uncovered during expedited discovery. We look forward to sharing this evidence in court.”