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Google, Microsoft, AOL sued over Street View patent
Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 4:34 pm on Jul 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google, Microsoft, and AOL have found themselves the target of a lawsuit over a Louisiana company’s patent on street-level views in online maps.

Details are fairly sparse, according to the original Reuters report. But Transcenic, which filed the complaint, says that Google Street View, Microsoft Streetside, and AOL’s MapQuest all infringe on its patent for “Spatial referenced photographic system with navigation arrangement,” which a quick search shows was filed for in 2000 and granted in 2006.

In plain English, it appears Transcenic holds the patent on taking panoramic images and navigating them, Google Street View-style. The company is seeking both damages and a court order for Google, et al, to stop infringing on their patent.

[zdnet.com...]

 

Strapworks

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 5:49 pm on Jul 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

They'll offer Pi in the settlement, LOL

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 6:17 pm on Jul 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

ok Google, Microsoft, and AOL are infringing on their patent.. that's fine.

To determine the amount of the judgment we need to determine how much money or users Google, Microsoft, and AOL are costing Transcenic's map tool and what percent of the market share they are stealing from Transcenic.

Oh wait... Transcenic has no map tool, Google, Microsoft, and AOL aren't costing them anything.

Revenue before patent infringement: $0
Revenue after patent infringement: $0
Cost to Transcenic: $0

What damages are they claiming?

I would rather have use of a map tool from someone without a patent, then have no use of a map tool because the guy with the patent isn't able to bring it to market.

Patents are supposed to foster inventions, how can we take advantage of inventions if the people who actually create things and bring them to market are being stopped by the people dreaming up this stuff but never building the vision or bringing it to market?

If these trolls keep getting their way we will be left with a bunch of great ideas on paper that no-one will build for fear of doing all the work and having all the benefits litigated from them.

heisje

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 10:27 pm on Jul 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Demaestro : you must be joking, certainly.

Google et al, should, simply, have negotiated a licensing agreement with Transcenic. Instead it seems the "chose" just to steal Transcenic's ideas, without any payment (if Transcenic's claim is true to the facts).

[edited by: heisje at 10:57 pm (utc) on Jul 6, 2011]

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 10:46 pm on Jul 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

@ heisje I am most certainly not joking

Do you really believe that Google, AOL, and Microsoft all read through patents, found this patent by Transcenic and then "stole" the idea... or do you think it is more likely that they developed this independently?

I believe that the latter is true, I think the big 3 developed their maps internally and independently.

Would you be happy to live without those map services until Transcenic builds one? I would not be.

Do you think that Transcenic should be able to patent something but never build it?

Do you think that patents were created so that people can think up an invention, never build it, then profit off of those who do the actual work of building something? They weren't

The USA patent system is a joke when it comes to technical patents.

Previously inventors had to submit a prototype to patent something, now all they have to do is submit pie in the sky thinking and hope someone else takes the risk of building it so they can swoop in and sue.

Why should Google et al negotiate a license agreement? Transcenic did nothing, Google et al did everything.

You can't steal an idea.

Imagine 2 people think of a great invention in the same month, independently of each other, The first guy to conceive it patents it and does nothing, the second guy starts building the invention and creates a working model.

Who should get my money when I buy one? The guy who thought of it and did nothing except for filling out paper work? Or the guy who spent the time to work out the details, overcome hurdles, rolled up his sleeves and brings it to market?

Keep in mind Transcenic applied for the patent in 2000, they were awarded the patent in 2006, it is 2011 and they don't even have a website! I think they missed the boat on this one. How long should we give them to build their "invention" before we give others a kick at the can?

lexipixel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 6:27 am on Jul 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe that the latter is true, I think the big 3 developed their maps internally and independently.


They all started with data and images from the Tiger Mapping Service of the US Geologic Survey. Even today, at extreme close-up Google maps changes their copyright notice to mention Federal and State agencies and other sources of GIS data the maps are generated from, (in the USA at least).

I understand this topic is about "street level" and panoramic views -- and on that note, I'll mention that at "Man and His World" - Expo '67, (the "Worlds Fair in Montreal in 1967), I went into a pavillion attraction where, sitting in the audience in a round theater, they projected a 360 degree view of what it would look like if you were in a station wagon driving down the highway. (NOTE: After I typed that I looked it up -- it was Bell Canada's "Circle-Vision 360" -- a system for splicing together panoramic images from 9 car mounted cameras. This internet thing is great for looking up stuff -- someone should patent it and call it an "Electronic Library").

Some time later (in the 1990's I believe), a student at MIT wore a helmet with 8 cameras attached, each at 45 degree offsets of each other, (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, and NW compas direction), and video recorded his surrounding to replay in 360 degree spliced together surround video.

Both of these could/would/should be taken as "prior art" to Transcenic's patent -- and the patent should be invalidated.

Transcenic applied for the patent in 2000


I am tired of patents where "Party A" claim an invention whereby "letters are written on paper with blue ink", then "Party B" claims an invention and seeks a patent for "letters written on paper with green ink".

"Circle-Vision 360", "Street View", potAto, potato...

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 9:40 am on Jul 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

No court will force google et al to shut down their services.
Nobody will argue that Google doesn't try to assimilate everything they see being done online.
Nobody in their right mind wants to take on the law firms of those three companies all at once.

Publicity with a small chance of a payday.

Even the NSA has a vested interest in Google's use of the technology at this point...

walkman



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 9:40 am on Jul 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Live by the sword die by the sword. MSFT, AOL, and even Google would be RUTHLESS in enforcing their patents.

Bogus patents?

You know that every time you add a Santa hat to your logo you owe royalties to Google right? Google 'patented' that stupid doodle idea [patft.uspto.gov...]
Systems and methods for enticing users to access a web site

Abstract

A system provides a periodically changing story line and/or a special event company logo to entice users to access a web page. For the story line, the system may receive objects that tell a story according to the story line and successively provide the objects on the web page for predetermined or random amounts of time. For the special event company logo, the system may modify a standard company logo for a special event to create a special event logo, associate one or more search terms with the special event logo, and upload the special event logo to the web page. The system may then receive a user selection of the special event logo and provide search results relating to the special event.


and MSFT gets some 3000 patents a year. We can guess how many are obvious. Aol tried to steal the name ad.com because they had....advertising.com. So screw them.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 3:34 pm on Jul 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Live by the sword die by the sword. MSFT, AOL, and even Google would be RUTHLESS in enforcing their patents.


Yes but the major difference being that Google would build their invention and bring it to market. They wouldn't apply for the patent, sit on it and not develop it, allow someone else to do the work and take all the risk... then sue.

If Transcenic had a map tool that I could use I would support them.. the fact is all they did was submit a patent 11 years ago then did nothing.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 4:25 pm on Jul 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

If Transcenic had a map tool that I could use I would support them.. the fact is all they did was submit a patent 11 years ago then did nothing.

Apparently they do and you are using them. laws are the same for everyone, that's the bottom line. Most patents are probably never used anyway

heisje

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 9:30 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Demaestro : let's see: and maybe make things simple(r) for your benefit:

- suppose you make a truly beautiful design of a car on paper, with full interior & exterior details and 3D image renderings
- you register this design at the appropriate authorities, as your own intellectual property
- a lazy bum, lacking creativity & intelligence, but excellent in the art of theft, scans all registered car designs and truly fancies the one you have registered
- consequently, he actually *builds* a car upon you design, a design existing up to that time only on paper - without getting your permission to do so, or paying anything to you for your own design

Am I correct to understand that, according to your approach, the thief has somehow full legal and/or ethical right to build the car you have designed and registered but left on paper, since you never actually built a car upon that design of yours?

.

penguintutor



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 11:19 am on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

@heisje - but that's not what they did. They didn't have a full design only a patent on a concept.

In software copyright is there to stop someone stealing a design, patents only need to be a vague idea.

To follow your car analogy it's like someone patenting a flying car. They don't design the car, just about the concept that the car can fly, write it down on a patent and then wait for the money to come in or sue anyone that can create something that works.

Then someone else actually works out the design to a flying car, but because someone patented it they get taken to court and told they are not allowed to make a flying car because someone else thought of it first - despite the fact the person that patented it hasn't any idea of how they would make one. This is different from copying working plans and designs which would be covered by copyright law.

The problem with patents is when they are applied to software where they are applied to trivial concepts and then used to block progress which is exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to achieve.

Remember BT claiming that everyone that ever owned a website or clicked a link was breaking their Sargent patent? BT lost their trial case on the basis that the wording of the Patent was not quite the same as the way the Internet worked (refers to a specific computer rather than a network and it's not blocks of information) [zdnet.co.uk ], but if they had won then that may have been the end of the "Free" Internet as we know it as every click would need to pay a patent fee.

heisje

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 5:53 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

@penguintutor : it is very disappointing to see presumptions presented as facts.

IF you take the trouble of reading the full registered patent, you may then realise that Transcenic has indeed described not only the concept of their invention (a very small part of the overall patent text) but in *minute detail* step-by-step its full functionality, and mode of operation.

I have no doubt they will easily win their case against the arrogant & habitual thieves, in a grand manner..

.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 7:53 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Apparently they do and you are using them.


Ok ill bite... where is the map they built and when have I been using it?

lexipixel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 10:51 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am going to add a digital thermometer and a "chicken bouillon brewing function" and any time MY Spatial referenced photographic system with navigation arrangement is used and air temperature is below 32 degrees fahrenheit, it will automatically brew chicken bouillon.

...the combination of my station wagon's odometer, the plastic compass on the dashboard, the 1967 Bell Canada "Circle Vision 360" cameras on the roof, and a tape recording saying "We just got onto Route 66" are pretty much the same thing as the Transcenic patent... but it can't measure temperature or make chicken soup.

heisje

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 11:54 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

What an astounding idea! never thought of that : yes, indeed : chicken soup! excellent & cures all at the same time!

Better register a patent soonest, before Google et al are at it again . . . .

.

lexipixel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 5:55 am on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

You know that every time you add a Santa hat to your logo you owe royalties to Google right? Google 'patented' that stupid doodle idea
-walkman


Forget the above comment -- I just reviewed the entire patent #7,912,915, (the Google Doodle patent).

Then I checked Archive.org to be sure of dates, and there is archived proof that I "invented" adding a static/non-animated character "to entice visitors to return to [my] website" on one of my website's standard logos before Google -- and further, that Google et al, were aware of my website and the logo "doodle" prior to applying for the patent.

Is there an intellectual property lawyer in the house?

I am as serious as a logo with a Santa hat about this -- any intellectual property lawyer in the house: sticky me.

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4335847 posted 4:50 am on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Patents are supposed to foster inventions, how can we take advantage of inventions if the people who actually create things and bring them to market are being stopped by the people dreaming up this stuff but never building the vision or bringing it to market?

If these trolls keep getting their way we will be left with a bunch of great ideas on paper that no-one will build for fear of doing all the work and having all the benefits litigated from them.

What Demaestro says and more....

Here's a link I've just posted to a timely Public Radio International podcast about patent trolls. Even though there is an online transcript available, the program is well worth an hour spent listening. The history of how we got where we are is fascinating....

How patent trolls are affecting software and technology
When Patents Attack! - "This American Life"
http://www.webmasterworld.com/webmaster_business_issues/4346070.htm [webmasterworld.com]

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