Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Waymo drops some claims against Uber in trade secret lawsuit

New Jersey residents may be interested in a development in the lawsuit that self-driving car manufacturer Waymo has filed against Uber. Waymo, formerly affiliated with Google, accused Uber of trade secret theft, but it has now dropped three of four patent claims it had against the technology and transportation company.

Waymo contends that one of its engineers stole 14,000 documents before creating his own startup company, Otto, which focused on self-driving trucks. Uber later bought Otto, and the former Waymo engineer became head of Uber's self-driving group. The man was eventually fired after Waymo's then-parent sued Uber over the issue.

A primary part of the lawsuit centered on technology called lidar. The name is an acronym that stands for light detection and ranging. Lidar enables self-driving cars to detect oncoming traffic, pedestrians and other objects. But now Waymo says that Uber has promised in official statements that it does not and will no longer use the lidar technology. In response, Uber stated that by dropping three of its four complaints, Waymo has admitted that Uber's lidar technology is different from Waymo's. The case is set to go to trial in October.

Intellectual property can be extremely valuable to its owners, but laws surrounding it are complex. Intellectual property litigation can involve patent or trademark infringement as well as misappropriation or theft of trade secrets. These types of property are often some of a company's most valuable assets. Business owners who have been harmed by another party's unauthorized use might want to have legal assistance when seeking appropriate redress.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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