Monday, October 1, 2018

"A lone engineer has succeeded in doing what Uber's top lawyers and expert witnesses could not—overturning most of a foundational patent covering arch-rival Waymo's lidar laser ranging devices"

Following a surprise left-field complaint by Eric Swildens, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected all but three of 56 claims in Waymo's 936 patent, named for the last three digits of its serial number. The USPTO found that some claims replicated technology described in an earlier patent from lidar vendor Velodyne, while another claim was simply "impossible" and "magic."

Swildens, who receives no money or personal advantage from the decision, told Ars that he was delighted at the news


In August 2017, Uber agreed to redesign its Fuji lidar not to infringe the 936 patent. Then, in February 2018, Waymo settled the remaining trade secret theft allegations in exchange for Uber equity worth around $245 million and a commitment from Uber not to copy its technology.