|Microsoft and Google Together Sue GeoTag Inc Over Patent|
Microsoft and Google Together Sue GeoTag Inc Over Patent [fosspatents.blogspot.com]
|Google and Microsoft have joined forces to take down a Texas company's geotagging patent that they claim has been used in lawsuits against more than 300 entities, many of which are customers of the two companies. Microsoft and Google want to protect Google Maps and Bing Maps against this kind of activity. |
A Google VP recently tweeted about two turkeys that don't make an eagle. In this case, we are seeing two giants who separate their fierce competition in various fields from a common interest in curbing trollish behavior.
The patent, US Patent No. 5,930,474, is entitled "Internet organizer for accessing geographically and topically based information". It was applied for in 1996 and granted in 1999. Microsoft and Google say there was prior art at the time of filing that the USPTO didn't take into account.
I don't care if it's to feed starving children, this gives me pause.
|"Google and Microsoft have joined forces..." |
Google criticising a internet-related patent. I'm sorry, my irony meter has just exploded into a gigazillion pieces.
Forgive me if I'm mistaken but GeoTagging is the process of attaching identifiable information to a file or image that allows you to track it's use for copyright protection purposes.
Of course Google and Microsoft want to fight geotagging, both these companies are making BILLIONS from 3rd party content in COUNTLESS ways. I'm with GeoTag on this one.
Bottom line - Google and Microsoft need to realize they are NOT above copyright law and are NOT free to show every image they get their crawlers on.
Geotag is a patent troll who has sued 397 companies over patent infringement IN LESS THAN 1 YEAR, 382 of them were sued in December 2010. Their patent is not an invention, nor is it even unique nor is it even theirs, they just bought it.
They have no product, no service other than a vague description and a contact us page. Their business model as of now is to sue people to make money.
I don't care about the irony of G and MS doing this, these companies need to be stopped, don't care who does it.
|Google and Microsoft need to realize they are NOT above copyright law and are NOT free to show every image they get their crawlers on. |
Sure but what does that have to do with this case? Are you suggesting because they show images that aren't theirs' that GeoTag is somehow in the right in this case?
nor is it even theirs, they just bought it.
They bought it but it's not theirs. OK.
these companies need to be stopped, don't care who does it.
Sure. Why don't you name your new drink Coca Cola while you're at it.
Forgive me if I'm mistaken but GeoTagging is ...
Okie-dokey, you're forgiven. Geotagging has more to do with locations on maps.
I think everyone who hasn't, should read the full article on the link that Engine posted. This is indeed a worrisome company. It is one of a new breed of predatory businesses which form to make money off of lawsuits. Worse, it is of an even more advanced form which seeks investors to finance those mass lawsuits. This was recently in the news (but I don't recall where). There are now groups of lawyers and businesses soliciting investors to fund and thereby profit off of lawsuits. If anyone doesn't think we are all going to be screwed if this tactic gets rolling, then just wait.
As for GeoTagging itself, this is really very interesting. I found a good Wkipedia article. Reading the full article all the way to the end is really enlightening.
I also followed a link from that article to another with a neat example of GeoTagging in use.
I found 3 threads on Webmaster world on this code
It looks to me like this markup is destined to play a major role in the new internet. The recent proliferation of fancy GPS and internet enabled handheld devices has added a new dimension.These devices have software which can use that metadata. I can think of all kinds of businesses and institutions that could benefit greatly from having this code on their websites. Restaurants, hospitals, rental companies. plumbers. clowns. lawyers. Just about anybody who offers something locally.
In their SEC registration for a public IPO the company tellingly states:
|All of our revenue will be derived from our ability to negotiate and enforce settlement and licensing arrangements with unauthorized users of our 474 patented technology. Our ability to successfully negotiate license agreements with third-party users of our technology will depend, in large part, on our outside legal team’s success in developing, operating and prosecuting our patent infringement and licensing strategy for the 474 Patent. |
I'm 200% against companies like this that exist purely to make money off of suing other people. The courts should be a place to uphold justice, not to be an agent to the ambitions of greed. The fact that Google and Microsoft teamed up for this might give many of us pause though I personally think this is absolutely necessary.