[caption id="attachment_22534" align="alignleft" width="338"] Pieces of Uber's earlier lidar system, codenamed "Spider," are arrayed in a courtroom in San Francisco.[/caption]
According to an article in ARS Technica, Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car company dropped most of its patent claims against Uber in hopes to streamline a planned October trial.
Waymo sued Uber in February, when it dropped the bombshell accusation that a former Uber engineer, Anthony Levandowski, stole more than 14,000 files while working at Google. Levandowski asserted his Fifth Amendment rights, Uber fired the engineer and defended itself, saying Waymo's trade secrets never made their way onto Uber servers.
With fiery disputes over discovery erupting practically every week, Waymo's patent case was a kind of corollary to the main show. Uber has used two different types of "lidar," the main technology at issue in the case. Lidar is a system for using lasers to allow self-driving cars to "see" the streetscape around them. Uber gave its prototypes the names "Spider" and "Fuji."
In a stipulation (PDF) which was filed, Waymo dismisses its patent claims with prejudice but reserves the right to accuse the Spider design of infringing the three patents should it come back into use. Waymo is now pursuing a single patent claim, which is still scheduled to go to trial later this year, along with trade secret allegations.